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Welcome to Life Skills Manor for Autism

We are now registered with the Department for Education and opening 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 school in the process of registering with the Department for Education with a proposed opening for 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 announce that we are ready to open our doors in January 2022 to deliver 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 2021-2025

  • As of January 2020, Children with EHCP’s totalled 13,499 in Kent. This is an increase of 1,736 since January 2019.
  • This is an increase of 14.8% each year compared to 10% nationally.
  • Thanet has the highest percentage of EHCPs for 5-19 year old population groups.
  • In Kent, the rate of increase in 2019 and 2020 for 5 to 10-year olds and 11 to 15 years old, is much steeper than nationally.
  • Children aged 11-15 years old in Kent account for the largest percentage of children and young people with EHCPs (34.4%).
  • Pupils with an EHCP in Kent are less likely to be educated in a mainstream school than would be expected nationally.
  • There will remain a need to increase specialist provision.
  • In order to support the increasing number of pupils requiring SEN provision, KCC will seek developer contributions towards new SEN provision.
  • Kent's rate of growth in EHCPs has remained higher than the national rate for the past six years.
  • Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASD) remains the most common primary need type with 41.2% of children and young people with an EHCP (0-25 years) having ASC identified as their primary need.
  • Kent’s ASC percentage is significantly higher than the national figure of 30%.
  • As of January 2020, 1,075 Kent, resident pupils had places funded in an independent non maintained school, an increase of 198 (22.6%) from January 2019 and representing 7.9% of all EHCPs.
  • 488 of these independent placements were for a primary diagnosis of ASC.

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.

ASC pupils often have difficulties not only at school but in the wider community too. It is known that ASC 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 ASC 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.


Image of Ross Barnett

Ross Barnett


Image of Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett


Image of Roger Silk

Roger Silk

Chair of Governors

Image of Rachel Beecham

Rachel Beecham

Admin and PA to Head

Image of Holly Palmer

Holly Palmer

Occupational Therapist

Image of Sally O’Connor

Sally O’Connor


Image of Kat Oliver

Kat Oliver


Image of Nolan White

Nolan White


Image of Jon Tyler

Jon Tyler

Cooking Instructor

Image of Kati Banks

Kati Banks

Teaching Assistant

Image of Marie Morris

Marie Morris

Teaching Assistant

Image of Kim Ochs

Kim Ochs

Teaching Assistant

Image of Laurance Sussex

Laurance Sussex

Teaching Assistant

Image of Laura Tremain

Laura Tremain

Teaching Assistant

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