When Pat Minshull realised that her son Peter had autism her initial concern was for his education. With a group of supporters she successfully raised funds to buy a property in Southport, where she founded Peterhouse School in 1973. Thanks to local support, and the patronage of the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson, her work continued and Peterhouse became the starting point for so much more.
As her son's needs changed, with adulthood approaching, so Pat’s vision developed and she realised there was a need for adult services for autistic people. Now called Autism Initiatives Pat's legacy continues in a variety of locations in the UK & Ireland providing autism specialist services from supported living to schools, from a short break service to one stop shops, from work placements to training, clubs and activities. Autism Initiatives has a wealth of resources and expertise that support autistic people to achieve their personal goals.
Peterhouse School is pleased to have achieved Outstanding ratings with Ofsted since 2005 alongside many other accolades, awards and achievements, however the achievements of our pupils both past and present is what makes us truly proud.
There is an ongoing debate over how people with a diagnosis of autism wish to refer to themselves and/or their diagnosis. The phrase ‘person with autism’ (person first) is used frequently in literature, but more recently, there has been a return to the use of the term ‘autistic person’ (or identity first), language driven by the autistic 'community'. This is to recognise the fact that autism is an integral part of a person and nothing to be ashamed of. When talking to people, we will use the words preferred by the person to describe themselves. When we write, we will use both ‘person with autism’, ‘autistic person’ or 'person on the autism spectrum'. We recognise that people can feel strongly about both terminology and language and whilst we do not wish to cause any offence to anyone, we will always prioritise the views of autistic people themselves.
Peterhouse aims to provide a specialist environment which is flexible and responsive in fulfilling the academic, social, emotional and physical potential of all our young people, equipping them with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be a successful adult with autism.
Please note: Any of the information on this website is available as a paper copy free of charge upon request.
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Charges to Parents
School fees are paid by Local Authorities and these cover all teaching materials, school meals etc. We do not charge parents for any part of our provision. At times, we may ask for a contribution towards e.g. the cost of outings, residential trips etc - these contributions are voluntary and do not affect whether a pupil is able to take part.
Website Dedication to Martine Platt
We would like to dedicate this website to the memory of Martine Platt (ICT Teacher) who sadly passed away on 24th October 2008. Martine had a major input in setting up the original school website and is fondly remembered by many at Peterhouse.