I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Astra Base in Ardrossan Academy with Councillor Willie Gibson, a facility which helps young people with autism cope better with the demands and challenges of a school environment.
Having taught English myself for over 20 years before I was elected, I have a real appreciation of how important such a facility can be.
Having been established in August last year, it supports children with autism from across the whole of North Ayrshire on their journey through a mainstream educational setting.
There is a calming, safe space area, where pupils can go for relaxation to switch off if necessary.
I was given a tour of the facility and learned from staff how important this facility is to children and how senior pupils support younger pupils where required.
I heard from Philip Gosnay, Senior Education Manager at NAC, Head Teacher, Lisa Chalmers, teaching and support staff and senior pupils. This truly offers practical and sensitive support for young people with autism as they navigate their way through the school day.