Autism support in schools

Autism Outreach Team (AOT)

Part of our Local Offer providing advice and support to children, families and education establishments across Leicestershire. We advise Leicestershire maintained schools on how to best meet the needs of pupils on the Autism Spectrum. We also offer child specific advice for children with an Autism Spectrum (ASD) diagnosis aged 5–19 years.

The AOT are the East Midlands Hub for the Autism Education Trust providing training to Leicestershire maintained schools.

Autism workshops for parents

Autism - parents' workshop spring 2024

Bookings are now closed. If you wish to be notified of future workshops, please email

You may also find support at the Leicestershire Autistic Society.

What do we offer?

We offer a wide range of support, such as:

  • Help to schools to identify issues early and provide practical advice to support inclusion
  • Advice on approaches to enhance quality first teaching for autistic learners, from EYFS to Post-16
  • Training, information and support to enable schools to develop and embed good autism practice
  • Support to understand autistic strengths and needs, including anxiety and distressed behaviours 
  • Pupil-specific advice for learners with an Autism diagnosis aged 5–19 years (Leicestershire maintained schools and academies can make a referral to Autism Outreach via
  • A wide range of training packages (see below) to equip schools with the information and strategies to be able to meet the needs of autistic pupils
  • Access to ‘C&I Surgeries’ for all Leicestershire maintained schools to explore the needs of pupils with Communication and Interaction (C&I) needs. These 45-minute surgeries are for schools to explore the needs of pupils with or without a diagnosis of Autism without making a referral to Autism Outreach. They provide an opportunity to review strategies and interventions and to access advice and signposting. 

Find out more about how the Autism and Learning Team operates:

We can be contacted on the Specialist teaching service number 0116 305 9400 or

Autism Outreach training offer

The Autism Outreach Team offer a wide range of training packages. Central to this is the newly updated Autism Education Trust’s (AET) tiered training programme.

Leicestershire’s Autism Outreach Team is the AET’s strategic partner for the East Midlands and as such is responsible for providing training and support to new AET partners across the region and takes a leading role in the redevelopment and updating of AET materials.

AOT provide the full range of Autism Education Trust training which includes:

Making Sense of Autism (MSA)

This is a 90-minute raising awareness module for anyone working in schools. This includes teaching and support staff, office and ancillary staff, caterers, caretakers, transport staff and governors.

Good Autism Practice (GAP)

This is a module for practitioners who work directly with autistic children or young people, and it provides guidance on processes and tools that can help practitioners to implement good autism practice.

Anxiety Module

This module will support you in gaining an understanding of what we mean by anxiety, how it appears in autistic children and young people, what the key triggers are and what you can do to support autistic pupils to prevent and reduce anxiety.

Exclusions Module

This module on autism and exclusions will support delegates to explore key causes of an autistic child or young person being excluded from school and how teaching staff can prevent exclusion occurring, or when it does occur, provide support for the pupil’s successful return or transition to their next placement.

Suite of Resources for Leaders

This module helps leaders to understand what is needed to fully embed an inclusive culture. It looks at educational legislation guidance surrounding inclusion, the steps required to lead culture change and the importance of considering structural reasonable adjustments and AET resources designed to support leaders with this.

I found the training really engaging and interesting. The trainers made it relevant and specific to our setting.

Recommended frequency of autism training for educational settings

Leicestershire maintained schools and academies are strongly encouraged to maintain an upskilling of their staff to enable them to best meet the needs of current and future autistic learners. It is recommended schools access and update their Autism Education Trust training on at least a 3-year basis. This includes Making Sense of Autism training for all staff, Good Autism Practice training for practitioners working directly with autistic pupils and Leadership training for Sencos and/ or Senior Leaders.

You can explore the redeveloped Autism Education Trust website with links to training information and resources including the Standards and Competency Frameworks.

In addition, AOT provide several intervention training packages which equip schools with the knowledge, information and resources to deliver a range of interventions for pupils with communication and interaction needs.

Finally, Autism Outreach are able to create and deliver bespoke training packages which meet the individual needs of the school and cohort of pupils.

Resources for schools

Here we have included links to further information and support:

    Please find the AOT referral form and other useful resources below:

    Information for families

    The Autism Outreach Team (AOT) recognise that parent/carers are fundamental to supporting the children and young people we work with.  

    Parents/carers are the experts on their young person and offer great insight into their strengths and needs. We know that working in collaboration is essential to listen to the ‘voice of the family’ and develop our practice accordingly.

    AOT also acknowledge the pressures and anxieties some parent/carers may face at times in parenting a child on the autism spectrum.

    The views of the parents / carers are an integral part of the Referral Form which is completed when a request for pupil-specific Autism Outreach involvement is made. This ensures that parents/ carers are aware of the request for AOT involvement from the start and their views are sought.

    Once the referral form has been received and Autism Outreach involvement has been agreed, parents/carers are contacted by letter to inform them of which member of the team will be leading on providing pupil-specific support for their child.

    Following this, the AOT teacher will liaise with the school’s Senco to organise an initial referral meeting at school.  This meeting must include parents/carers, the Senco and where possible, other relevant school staff. At the referral meeting, parents/ carers will be asked to share the pupil’s strengths and challenges, so that an initial understanding of the pupil’s profile can be gained. Priorities for Autism Outreach involvement will be identified and next steps agreed.

    Following the referral meeting, Autism Outreach may meet with parent/carers at review meetings, school meetings to discuss specific issues or areas of need, multi-agency meetings or EHCP Annual reviews.

    The team have been very helpful and understanding.  It’s been hard to get specialised help for autism and I feel they understand the needs of my daughter.

    Where parents/ carers have a query or concern about the support being provided to their child in school, parents should first contact the school to discuss. If appropriate, parents /carers may then request a meeting with the school with AOT staff present to resolve any queries or concerns.

    If parents have ongoing concerns about the support their child is receiving in school and do not feel that these concerns are being addressed, then they should contact SENDIASS. SENDIASS (formerly the Parent Partnership) is an independent service that offers free, confidential and impartial information, advice and support to parents and carers of young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) as well as young people themselves.


    SENDIASS can be contacted by phone at 0116 305 5614 or by email at

    Autism Outreach are a schools-based service and do not complete any work in the home. Autism Outreach can provide training to Early Help staff, Social Care workers, the Inclusion Service and other professionals who are available to support families in the home. Where parents/ carers identify issues or concerns in the home, AOT can signpost schools and parents to seek advice and support from other services, community groups or sources of information.  

    Autism Outreach offer limited direct support to parents. This includes:

    • Autism Outreach Parent workshops (termly, 2 x two-hour daytime sessions).  Please contact for details 
    • Signposting to sources of support in the Local Authority
    • Signposting to local voluntary sector autism societies/support groups 
    • Limited telephone-based contact with parents/carers, where communication with the child’s school has been sought in the first instance

    The offer to parents is subject to review of the LLR Neuro-developmental pathway. 

    Useful links for families

    Autism Education Trust

    National Autistic Society

    Ambitious about Autism

    Leicestershire Autistic Society (includes details of local sources of support and activity groups)

    Early Help