Throughout England, 71% of students with #autism attend mainstream schools. Unfortunately, many of these schools are unequipped and uneducated about how to best support the needs of students with autism.

Not only can this put them off from pursuing further education prospects, but it can result in them not achieving their potential.

Fortunately, when it comes to further education, more choice and flexibility is available, making it easier for students with autism to thrive.

 Current UK legislation isn’t enough 

Currently, there are no requirements for teachers in mainstream schools to have experience or qualifications in teaching students with autism and teacher training courses don’t usually cover it. The only regulation that is in place is that every mainstream school must have a designated Specialist Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who can inform relevant staff about the needs of students.

What this means is that it’s left to headteachers and SENCOs to enable all teachers to support students with autism, but this will vary between schools and staff, causing a lack of much-needed stability for students with autism. 

Communication is key

Students with autism and their parents often report feeling frustrated with the lack of support in schools and the majority of teachers agree that they don’t have the training or resources to adequately teach students with autism. An honest conversation between teachers, students, and parents can help. Students with autism can voice what they need or what they struggle with, parents can offer solutions, and then it’s up to teachers to do their part.

As more choice is available in further education, students can look at finding educators who have experience teaching students with autism and make choices based on the support they can offer. Reach out to support groups, professionals, and other families with children who have already entered higher education to find what did and didn’t work for them.

 Understanding and meeting the needs of students with autism

People with autism thrive when their learning environment is predictable with structure and a clear routine. They’re generally visual learners and need information and instructions presented in this way to understand and retain it.

One easy way teachers can meet this is by using slideshow presentations with pictures and videos whilst talking through the content for other students in the classroom that aren’t visual learners. Students with autism will often struggle in social situations as they find it hard to read emotions and body language. 

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Teachers should support them to work independently or with one or two friends, as opposed to large groups. Large groups and classrooms can bring a lot of noise too, which makes it hard for students with autism to concentrate on anything else, so teachers should find a quiet area for them to work and be aware of the overall noise level in the room.

Unfortunately, it often falls on students with autism and their families to get adequate support from schools. When entering higher education more choice and control becomes available. Reach out to others and research to find teachers who have experience and can support students with autism to help them thrive.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

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We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

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FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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