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Welcome to Life Skills Manor for Autism

We are now registered with the Department for Education and opened in January 2022

The journey for Life Skills Manor School started in 2015 proposed as a Special Free School. The original proposer team consisted of educational experts that had a range of experience in SEND but more importantly consisted of parents with children with Autism.

During the original proposal the steering group formulated a Life Skills curriculum based upon the views of parent led groups hence the life skills element of the school. Unfortunately the project was shelved pending political obstacles associated with Free Schools.

In 2020, we were able to proceed with the Life Skills Manor proposal but in the form as a self-governing provision. We are delighted to report that we are now an independent special registered with the Department for Education since January 2022.

As a parent of a child with Autism I understand the challenges we face on a daily basis and we have designed Life Skills Manor in the knowledge of our children becoming independent as they move into adulthood. Our school has been in the making for many years and we are so excited to have opened our doors in January 2022 and be delivering our curriculum that embeds 'skills for life'.

Welcome to Life Skills Manor for Autism.

Thank you to all those that have supported us.

Paul Barrett

The Need for Life Skills Manor

Statement Source: Commissioning Plan for Education in Kent 2023-2027

The LA is responsible for issuing and maintaining Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for children and young people between the ages of 0-25 years. As of January 2022, this totalled 17,733 children and young people with an EHCP. This is an increase of 2,452 since January 2021, an increase of 16% compared to 9.9% in England. In Kent 33.5% (31.1% in 2021) are educated in mainstream (including SRPs). In Kent 39.7% of children and young people with EHCPs are educated in a special school.

SEN Need Types

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) remains the most common primary need type with 42.4% of children and young people with an EHCP (0-25 years) having ASD identified as their primary need.


The number of EHCPs by establishment type (0-25 year olds); In Kent 33.5% (31.1% in 2021) are educated in mainstream (including SRPs). In Kent 39.7% of children and young people with EHCPs are educated in a special school.

EHCPs by establishment type January 2022 (0-25 year olds)

Type of Establishment 2022
Number Kent % England %
Mainstream school including SRPs 5947 33.5 40.5
Special school inc. independent 7041 39.7 34.8
Non-maintained early years 61 0.3 0.5
Further education 3311 18.7 16.6
NEET 285 1.6 2.6
Educated elsewhere 1082 6.1 3.8
Alternative provision/Pupil referral unit 1 0 0.8
Other 5 0 0.8
Total 17333
  • The current total designated number of SRP places in Kent primary and secondary schools is 1,375. A total of 1,364 SRP places have been commissioned for September 2022, an increase of 90 places from September 2021.
  • Kent has a total of 21 LA maintained special schools, 1 special academy and 2 Free Schools. For the academic year 2022/23 Kent has commissioned 5,495 places in Kent special schools, an increase of 259 places.
  • As of January 2022, 1,681 Kent, resident pupils had places funded in an independent non maintained school, an increase of 285 places (20.4%) from January 2021 and representing 9.5% of all EHCPs; 650 of these independent placements were for a primary diagnosis of ASD and 556 for SEMH.

Life Skills Explained

The term "Life Skills" refers to those skills needed to be an independent young person and adult. The acquisition of some of these skills is particularly difficult for some youngsters on the autistic spectrum.

These skills include a huge range of taken for granted attributes and basic skills, which other children and young people learn, (apparently easily) through observation, copying, parental nurturing and self-motivation. These include things such as dressing oneself, shoelace tying, road safety, motor skill development, social etiquette, conversation skills and so and so forth.

ASD pupils often have difficulties not only at school but in the wider community too. It is known that ASD pupils are at a much greater risk of exclusion from school and often experience social isolation both in and out of school.

This is principally because children with autism can find it difficult to engage in the world around them. The aim of Life Skills Manor is to support engagement, growth and skills in a nurturing environment, whilst encouraging and empowering the uniqueness that is autism.

With this in mind it can be seen that understanding and acquiring these life skills is essential for pupils with ASD and therefore this underpins the LSM curriculum. At KS4 pupils will extend their learnt skills and engage in ASDAN accreditations. These awards are recognised by employers.

Catchment Area

We believe that no child should have to travel more than 30 minutes to get to their school of need. Life Skills Manor will cater for students that are from the Dover, Thanet and Canterbury Districts.

Therefore the main catchment areas include:

Catchment Area Distance Travel Times Fastest Route
Ramsgate 5.2 Miles 12 Minutes
Birchington 6.2 Miles 11 Minutes
Broadstairs 6.7 Miles 15 Minutes
Margate 7.3 Miles 17 Minutes
St. Nicholas at Wade 7.3 Miles 10 Minutes
Deal 9.5 Miles 19 Minutes Via A256
Herne Bay 14 Miles 20 Minutes Via A299
Dover 16 Miles 23 Minutes Via A256
Canterbury 16 Miles 29 Minutes Via A257
Whitstable 20 Miles 26 Minutes Via A299


Our Vision - Life Skills Manor


Our Mission - Life Skills Manor

Curriculum Intent

Our Curriculum Intent - Life Skills Manor