Autism in Schools Short-Life Working Group


This group is no longer active.

Following publication of the Not included, not engaged, not involved report on the experiences of autistic children missing school, a roundtable discussion, chaired by the Deputy First Minister, was held with key autism stakeholders in 2019 to discuss and agree next steps. This led to the establishment of an Autism in Schools Short-Life Working Group to explore the following four key asks:

  • to ensure a common baseline of content on autism during the delivery of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes
  • more distillation of inclusive pedagogical work to ensure a deeper understanding within the system
  • wider sharing of quality practice by Education Scotland, local authorities, professional associations, autism organisation and others and evidence of good standards
  • how we ensure a continuum of support for ongoing professional practice and development

Action plan

The action plan was developed collaboratively between all members of the Autism in Schools Short-Life Working Group. The actions are divided into four sections based on the original asks of the Deputy First Minister. An implementation group will be formed of Short-Life Working Group members to help co-ordinate activities and ensure the work in the action plan is taken forward. A progress report will be produced and reported to the Deputy First Minister.


There have been delays to both the publication of the action plan, and the actions within due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Children in Scotland (CiS)
  • Scottish Autism (SA)
  • National Autistic Society Scotland (NAS)
  • Education Scotland
  • The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • Council of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS)
  • Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh (AMASE)
  • Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Centre Stage
  • National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)  

Scottish Government officials

  • Annette Pyle, Scottish Government
  • Gillian Barclay, Scottish Government
  • Kevin Hanlon, Scottish Government
  • Laura Meikle, Scottish Government 

Scottish Government officials (programme management team)

  • Mel Lowe, Scottish Government
  • Kevin Barr, Scottish Government





Area 2C North
Victoria Quay

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