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Therapy & Support Team

Speech & Language Therapy

Finnuala Garner and Alice McCoy make up the Speech and Language Therapy Team at Peterhouse School.

All children at Peterhouse receive an individual assessment of their current speech, language and communication skills.  This may involve 1:1 sessions with the SLT including formal and/or informal assessment tasks; observations in class/in a group setting; liaison with other professionals and discussions with school staff and parents/carers.  Results of this assessment then determine the future SLT intervention that each student requires. 

Our aim is to ensure that each student achieves their communicative potential.  In order to do this, all students are provided with an SLT Intervention Plan showing targets each student works towards achieving.  SLTs meet with school staff to discuss these Intervention Plans and provide any advice and resources that are required.  


Occupational Therapy

We have two Occupational Therapists at Peterhouse.

The Occupational Therapists carry out assessments of each pupil’s needs in Sensory Processing, Fine and Gross Motor Skills, Self Care, Visual Perception and Handwriting.  Assessments may include standardised tests, observations and discussions with staff, families and carers.  Where appropriate, the Occupational Therapists will

  • Drawn up individual O.T. programmes

  • Analyse and adapt daily activities

  • Assess for and recommend equipment to facilitate independence.

Autism Practice Lead


Lesley Fleming, our Autism Practice Lead, has worked at Peterhouse school since 1995. Initially employed as the music teacher Lesley worked across the school supporting music and also developed Music Assisted Communication. Lesley later took on the role of Head of Expressive Arts developing the enrichment and use of Arts as a creative tool to support the development of skills and quality of life for young people with Autism.


More recently Lesley’s role has extended to Autism Practice Lead where she combines her knowledge of autism, curriculum and creativity with Autism Practice that supports our pupils in areas that they find challenging. Lesley is part of the Practice Support Team and combines Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) linking to autism practice which works in partnership to support pupils in proactive ways to reduce behaviours of concern by developing understanding of the functions of behaviour.


Lesley often supports inductions of pupils into school to gain insight and knowledge of each pupil to ensure that we have a clear understanding and picture of the child’s strengths, interests and challenges. Lesley is available for parents to discuss concerns and enjoys working as part of the support team to share the consistent approaches in autism practice that help and develop our pupils.


We consider consistency of approach to be key to successful behaviour support. We seek to work in close partnership with parents, sharing ideas and agreeing responses to behaviour that can be used across different settings e.g. at home, in school, in residential services etc.

School Counsellor

Judith Mooney is a qualified counsellor and counselling supervisor (MBACP registered) with a specialism in Autism.  She has been a member of the staff at Peterhouse School for over 20 years

Judith offers free professional and confidential support to all our young people and their families, who may be experiencing difficult personal issues in any way.  She can also offer a link to other professionals at Peterhouse School / College.

Counselling sessions are confidential one to one sessions in a therapeutic environment offering time to explore, understanding thoughts, feelings and any other issues that the client would choose to bring.
Counselling offers an opportunity for client and counselor to work together to gain a deeper understanding of issues that maybe causing a negative effect on the client’s life and through exploring and empowering can bring about positive change

Judith offers one to one Tutorial sessions incorporating counselling skills to young people who are unable to engage into counseling but would value one to one time within a therapeutic environment to address their autism through the areas of the ‘Five Point Star’ by using various therapeutic tools.

Young Person & Family Support

Claire Lack is our Young Person & Family Support Co-ordinator.  She has been a member of school staff for over 10 years and holds social work and autism qualifications.

Her role is to offer an initial point of contact for families in need of support. 

Claire aims to be the link person who can liaise with staff at school, signpost families to other useful agencies and support referrals to relevant agencies for them so they can access all the support they need.

Claire is also available to offer careers advice and information to young people in addition to support for transition planning for young people and their families.


Health & Well-being

Elizabeth Price is our Health & Well-being Co-ordinator, and has worked at the school for 18 years. She is co-ordinates any medical checks in school, such as dental checks and eye tests, maintains health records for each pupil and is also able to support pupils on medical appointments.

Peterhouse has links with a Community Dentist, a School Health Advisor and other health professionals.