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The Nightingale ASC Centre

“The work of the specialist unit for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is outstanding.” 

Ofsted, November 2012.

“The school’s resource unit for pupils with autistic spectrum disorder continues to offer high quality provision for a small number of pupils, some of whom are in the sixth form.  These pupils receive individually tailored programmes of work, some of which lead to formal qualifications and some of which are designed to prepare them for their next steps.”

Ofsted, March 2016

Mark Rutherford’s Nightingale ASC Centre is a specialist provision for pupils with Autism that opened in September 2004.  The centre provides education for students from Year 7. Students have an Education and Health Care Plan which clearly identifies that they have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Condition as their primary need. Students selected are those who would have difficulty accessing a mainstream class but have the potential to do so for part of the school day if they have a secure base and enough structure is put in place to alleviate stress and its resultant behaviours.

The ASC Centre aims to address the needs of the whole “24 hour child”.  It tries to create the right balance between interaction and “space” from social demands; between meeting new challenges and staying in “comfort zones”.  The Nightingale Centre aims to be an inclusive part of Mark Rutherford as is possible, following main school policies to create a consistent approach for students.

The Nightingale Centre boasts three classrooms, a computer room, kitchen and sensory area.  The new building, which opened in April 2013, gives our students the space they need to develop, thrive and learn.

For further information, please contact:

Mr M Gibbs
ASC Lead
Miss K Hughes
Deputy Head
Telephone: 01234 290251

Mark Rutherford School
Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mk41 8PX
Telephone 01234 290200 : Fax 01234 290236 : Email: