We are providing a new Acheeva Bed for Ashgate Specialist Support Primary School, which caters for pupils with a wide range of special educational needs from the Wythenshawe and South Manchester areas.
A small number of these pupils have highly complex learning, medical and physical needs. Some of these students have had extended periods of absence, and in some cases hospitalisation, due to their health needs. This has had a significant impact on their school attendance and family life. While unwell, the children may spend extended periods of time lying down. As their health improves, it may take time for them to regain their physical stamina and confidence using other specialist equipment such as standing frames and seating.
Acheeva Beds are unique work stations that allow children to lie in a supported, balanced posture while participating in classroom learning. The bed is compact and easily moveable, and its angle and height are adjustable, enabling the pupil to be at eye-level with their classmates, which increases their sense of inclusion. The design of the bed also has benefits for staff as it reduces back strain when moving and handling.
The school has previously funded an Acheeva Bed for pupils with highly complex needs. This has ensured they can provide individual students with a highly personalised positioning programme as they make the transition back into school, enabling them to be more comfortable and access learning opportunities successfully. The majority of the pupils who have used the bed have had specific and complex and either have had a tracheostomy or needed oral suction as part of a secretion management plan.
The Acheeva Bed has also allowed staff to respond with greater flexibility to changes in these young people’s health needs across the school day, reducing anxiety and helping them to remain in school. They are now looking to fund a second bed so that more pupils can have access to it. This will enable children with the most complex health needs to attend school more frequently, providing benefits not just to them, but to the wellbeing of their families.