In its core principles The Cam Academy Trust is committed to providing education of the very highest standards to all pupils. This can only happen if pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported appropriately so they can make the same progress in their learning as other pupils with similar starting points.
The large and increasing number of young people in our society with autism presents a considerable challenge to our local, regional and national educational system. The Cam Academy Trust’s Autistic Spectrum Disorder centres are known as ‘Cabins.’ They are designed to provide extra support to young people who have Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). These are pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which identifies the need for significant additional support to access educational provision, but who, crucially, are cognitively capable of accessing mainstream lessons.
Since the first ‘Cabin’ was opened at Comberton Village College in 2007, provision has grown from providing for three pupils on one site to over 100 pupils across multiple sites and is now a key strand in Cambridgeshire County Council’s Local Offer, as well as serving pupils from neighbouring counties.
You can find out more about our history here or download the Cabin history document from this page.
Peter Allcock - Director of Cabin Provision (email@example.com)
'The most important decisions you make in life are those you never realised you were making.' Arthur Miller - the Price
I was asked by Stephen Munday (then Principal of Comberton Village College) some 19 years ago, while working as a Maths teacher, to ‘have a look at the Cabin,’ a provision the College had started for ASD students.
I had come from being the behaviour lead in Rees Thomas Special School in Cambridge and had some experience of Special Education and Autism, but I had no idea as to where this would lead.
I recall suggesting the management and staff needed to be directly linked to the school and the students needed to be on roll with the school as a starting point for a Cabin. The Cabin also needed to be financed in a manner which made it an attractive option for a school and the school would not feel burdened but empowered by having a Cabin.
These basic tenets are still the building bricks on which the Cabins are built, alongside the building projects that The Cam Academy Trust have invested. Starting with Comberton where we have our largest Cabin build, costing around £900,000 in 2016, to our latest Primary Cabin in Gamlingay.
I have now been working with the Cabin for nearly 20 years and my work over the years has been incredibly diverse. Initially teaching, later a building project manager, a salesman promoting Cabin options to other schools in the Trust, driving IT development (putting in IT systems to manage and track data and assess student progress in both their Academic and against EHCP targets), and supporting a large number of staff with their development.
I am now somewhat responsible for around 150 wonderful ASD students and 130 staff, hopefully enabling all to grow and prosper through the Cabins at The Cam Academy Trust.