Mackenzie Thorpe Centre

The Mackenzie Thorpe Centre is an independent specialist school based in South Bank, Redcar and Cleveland for pupils aged 5-19

Working together to inspire, support, celebrate and equip autistic and neurodiverse people to fulfil their potential in life.

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We believe that all individuals have the right to lead fulfilling lives. We are committed to supporting individuals that access our services to ensure that they are healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution, and achieve economic well-being.

An individual with learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum condition may engage in behaviours that impact upon their opportunities to lead fulfilling lives.  These behaviours are a response to an environment that is causing them stress or not meeting their needs, and for individuals with severe communication impairments, behaviour of concern is often an attempt to communicate. Behaviour of concern is defined as,


  Behaviour that can be described as challenging when it is of such an intensity, frequency or duration as to threaten the quality of life and/or the physical safety of the individual or others and is likely to lead to responses that are restrictive, aversive or result in exclusion  
 - Royal College of Psychiatrists Challenging Behaviour A Unified Approach 2007


Proactive strategies are central to the management of positive and proactive support and are very much key to preventing behaviours of concern and ultimately reduce risk to the individual(s) and others to lead a fulfilling life.  Our staff will try and find out the purpose or function of behaviour so they can respond proactively by reducing immediate stress or teaching new skills and / or coping strategies that will improve quality of life to make it less likely that they will need to use the behaviour of concern.  Staff are trained to manage emergency situations as safely as possible and to use the least restrictive methods to do this. 


The philosophy supporting “Positive & Proactive Support” and “Behaviour Support” practices within North East Autism Society (NEAS) is based on the key components of PPS. The key components and processes of the PPS approach are underpinned by clear values and recognised theory. It is strongly recognised within our practices that behaviour of concern is a form of communication and is used to express personal thinking that the individual is unable to express in a less harmful form. We believe that a person centred approach with the right support tools will improve quality of life by promoting inclusion and participation, and we will work toward the personal aspirations of the individual so they achieve a valued social role.

BILD Accreditation

Whilst a voluntary scheme, the BILD PI Training Accreditation Scheme has long been seen as an indicator of quality and good practice - for those providing training, and for those commissioning training in their service. The BILD Accreditation Scheme is seen by many as a clear indicator of a commitment to minimising the use of physical interventions and restrictive practices, and to the application of Positive Behaviour Support approaches in the lives of people being supported. Significant improvement in the quality of their lives is the ultimate purpose of the Scheme.

Further details on the BILD PI Training Accreditation Scheme and, the BILD Code of Practice can be found here