Publication - Strategy/plan

Autism in Schools Short-Life Working Group: action plan

Published: 16 Dec 2020

Action plan and next steps for the Autism in Schools Short-Life Working Group.

Published:
16 Dec 2020
Autism in Schools Short-Life Working Group: 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.

  • to ensure a common baseline of content on autism during the delivery of 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

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.

Areas for action

1. To ensure a common baseline of content on autism for use in the delivery of all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes

Current practice in place

Current focus within Initial Teacher Education is based on inclusive pedagogy relative to additional support needs rather than condition specific content.  This approach is supported through the current GTCS Accreditation Framework for ITE Programmes and the existing General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) Professional Standards for Teachers.

1.1 Action

Sub-Group to progress co-creation of resources to aid greater standardisation of content on Autism across all ITE programmes.

Delivered by

  • National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT)
  • National Autistic Society
  • Scottish Autism
  • AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh)
  • Scottish Government
  • Education Scotland
  • Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Association of Support for Learning Officers (ASLO)
  • Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

Timescale for delivery  

February 2021

1.2 Action

Sub-Group to plan delivery of a launch event aimed at ITE course directors and LA representatives to ensure awareness and understanding of and engagement in the delivery of these resources aimed at establishing a common baseline of ITE programme content on autism.

Delivered by

  • National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT)
  • National Autistic Society
  • Scottish Autism
  • AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh)
  • Scottish Government
  • Education Scotland
  • Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Association of Support for Learning Officers (ASLO)
  • Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

Timescale for delivery  

June 2020

1.3 Action

GTCS to revise their current Accreditation Framework for ITE Programmes and Professional Standards documents to ensure specific reference is made to Autism, along with other co-occurring neuro-developmental differences.

Delivered by

  • Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

Timescale for delivery  

June 2020

1.4 Action

General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and sub-group to co-create autism-specific guidance to accompany the revised Professional Standards due for publication in early 2021. This guidance to form part of the second tranche of Professional Guides designed to support and enhance teacher professionalism, with publication by 2021. GTCS Autism Professional Guide to be published 19 November 2020 to align with publication of its Teaching Scotland magazine which focuses on Additional Support Needs (ASN) and Additional Support for Learning (ASL)

Delivered by

  • National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT)
  • National Autistic Society
  • Scottish Autism
  • AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh)
  • Scottish Government
  • Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Association of Support for Learning Officers (ASLO)
  • Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • General Teaching Council for Scotland

Timescale for delivery  

November 2020

2. More distillation of inclusive pedagogical work to ensure a deeper understanding within the system

Current practice in place

National Framework for Inclusion has been designed to ensure that all students and teachers are appropriately guided and supported from the outset and throughout their careers towards gaining the required knowledge and understanding of inclusive education

Action

Education Scotland and Scottish Universities Inclusion Group to develop practical examples and strategies to support the inclusion of autistic children and learners in ELC and schools. These should be set out on the National Improvement Hub.

Delivered by

  • Education Scotland
  • University of Edinburgh

Timescale for delivery 

June 2021

3. Wider sharing of quality practice by Education Scotland, local authorities, professional associations, autism organisation and others and evidence of good standards

Current practice in place

Education Scotland have established the National Improvement Hub, which is aimed at supporting practitioners.

Autism toolbox has a working group, and this provides a forum for disseminating good practice.

3.1 Action

The online module ‘Inclusion Practice -The CIRCLE Framework: Secondary’. The original research, practice and resource was shared by City of Edinburgh Council, Queen Margaret University and NHS Lothian.

Delivered by

Education Scotland

Timescale for delivery 

July 2019

3.2 Action

Education Scotland Audit of local authority strategies and approaches to supporting pupils with autism – Most commonly used approaches will be presented on the Autism Toolbox and the National Improvement Hub.

Autism Summary of Evidence for Effective Interventions. November 2019

Summary: Local Authority Autism Professional Learning November 2019

Delivered by

Education Scotland

Timescale for delivery 

September 2019

3.3 Action

Establishment of Autism Toolbox Working Group to support the development and launch of the Refreshed Autism Toolbox. Focus is to share practice and develop updated information, guidance and resources set within the Scottish Context.

Delivered by

Autism Toolbox Working Group

Timescale for delivery 

November 2019

3.4 Action

The online module ‘Inclusion Practice -The CIRCLE Framework: Primary The original research, practice and resource was shared by City of Edinburgh Council, Queen Margaret University and NHS Lothian.

Delivered by

Education Scotland

Timescale for delivery 

December 2000

4. How we ensure a continuum of support for ongoing professional practice and development

Current practice in place

Autism Toolbox has been in place as the main practitioner resource for those working with autistic children and learners in Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings and schools. The refresh has updated information, guidance and professional learning. 

ES developed an Inclusion Module, which is aimed at practitioners within schools.

ES continues to develop free online professional learning for inclusion to support practitioners. 

The Strategic Board for Education is looking at early phase of a teacher’s career, and focusing on what additional support practitioners require at this early stage

4.1 Action

Draw actions under 1 and 2 together into a framework to create a continuum of support for both trainee teachers and already established teaching staff.

Delivered by

  • The Scottish Government
  • Education Scotland

Timescale for delivery 

June 2020 – To be updated in light of other completion dates above

4.2. Action

Engagement – Publish the continuum and engage with senior education leaders, including Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs).

Delivered by

  • The Scottish Government
  • Education Scotland

Timescale for delivery 

June 2020 – To be updated in light of other completion dates above

4.3. Action

Values based statement (Aspirational Statement) to be further refined to reflect the actions taken to deliver the continuum of support

Delivered by

The Scottish Government

Timescale for delivery 

January 2121

4.4 Action

Development of the online module ‘Introduction to Autism and Inclusive Practice

Delivered By

Timescale for delivery 

June 2020 – To be updated in light of other completion dates above

4.5 Action

The Autism Toolbox Working Group will continue to support the ongoing development of the refreshed Autism Toolbox to support ongoing professional learning for practitioners.

Delivered by

Timescale for delivery 

Ongoing

4.6 Action

Engagement with partners to support a consistent approach across ELC, schools, local authorities and Regional Improvement Collaboratives.

Current practice in place

Development of a strategic approach to support planning and delivery of professional learning.

Delivered by

Timescale for delivery 

June 2020 – to be updated 

5. Community of practice

Current practice in place

Education Scotland already host a range of range of resources and information on the National Improvement Hub.

Action

Actions under 3 and 4 will be drawn into the National Improvement Hub to ensure teachers and support staff have the most up to date information to enable them to support pupils with autism. This will include the newly refreshed autism toolbox.

Inclusion leads within each Regional Improvement Collaborative as well as the Link Officer Network will support the delivery and sharing of the resources and information. They will also support local training needs as part of a national continuum of support

Delivered by

Education Scotland

Timescale for delivery 

Ongoing to ensure resources, information and training are up to date and relevant.

6. Assurance mechanism

Action

An Implementation Group will be formed to help co-ordinate activities and ensure the work in the action plan is taken forward.  Membership of the Implementation Group will be formed from current working group members. A progress report will be produced and reported to Deputy First Minister 1 year after the action plan is published. 

Delivered by

Scottish Government

Timescale for delivery 

Implementation group established following publication of action plan. Progress report published 1 year after publication of action plan.

Contact

Email: kevin.barr@gov.scot

Post:
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