Improving autism support in mainstream secondary schools

27th January 2022

  • A project called “Autism in Schools” is now running at ten mainstream secondary schools in Sheffield. These are: Birley Academy, Chaucer, Firth Park, Notre Dame, Parkwood Academy, Sheffield Park, Sheffield Springs, UTC Sheffield, Westfield and Yewlands.

    The project is funded by the government and aims to improve support for autistic learners. This will be done by making changes to the school environment, fostering good relationships between staff, parents and students, signposting families to sources of support, and providing better access to early intervention.

    Our forum is involved in the project, and we have recruited two project workers (Anna Marie Emmett and Tracey Wild) to set up parent groups in the participating schools and seek parents’ views on how to improve support for their children. These groups are open to parents of children with any type of special educational need or disability – not just autism.

    Another organisation, KIDS, has set up children’s and young people’s forums in the schools.

    Using learning from the project, training for school staff will be produced by health professionals. This will ensure that good practice developed at the pilot schools can be rolled out across the city.

    If you have a child with additional needs at one of the schools listed above and you haven’t yet received information about the parent groups, please contact our project workers directly.

    For Notre Dame, Sheffield Park, Sheffield Springs and Westfield, please contact Anna Marie Emmett,

    For Birley Academy, Chaucer, Firth Park, Parkwood Academy, UTC Sheffield and Yewlands, please contact Tracy Wild,