Autism Inclusion Team

Local Offer Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire County Council Knot Logo

The Autism Inclusion Team is part of the Specialist Teaching Support Service. We work with children and young people aged up to 25 years with a diagnosis or working diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition. We offer specific support and advice to staff, children and parents in nurseries, mainstream settings, and deliver training to educational settings in Staffordshire. This support can continue into Further Education. (Please refer to Post 16 section below for FE - Further Education Offer criteria)

Qualified and specially trained teachers who have experience of working of children who have an Autism Spectrum Condition work alongside other proffessionals. These include qualified Communication Support Workers who have experience of working with children who have an Autism Spectrum Condition. 

Who we are

There are Qualified Teachers and Communication Support Workers who have under taken specialist training and have a wealth of experience working in schools and settings supporting children and young people with Autism. They are responsible for the management of a caseload of children and young people with autism across the age range from diagnosis to age 25 in mainstream settings.In order to fully meet children and young people needs a wide range of experienced staff work for the service.

Staff are responsible for autism training across the county; delivering packages specialised in autism, awareness and acceptance in conjunction with The Education Trust and in consultation with autistic adults. 

Enhanced Input for children and young people in key stage 1 and 2 is delivered in settings by a teacher and communication support workers. Enhanced input may include access to an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist.

There are four High School Resources based in mainstream high schools across the county, for pupils with autism. These are staffed by teachers and communication support workers who are employed by the Autism Inclusion Team.

What we do

We provide basic awareness training and bespoke training to any setting on request. We advise on the implementation of Autism Education Trust National Standards and Competencies.

We design support to suit the individual needs of children and young people and the mainstream setting.  We assess and regularly review the level and type of support offered.

We provide:

  • Autistic, awareness and acceptance training. This covers initial Autism Spectrum Condition awareness, and more in-depth full day courses. We also offer practical training sessions, including structured teaching and communication strategies e.g. TEACCH, PECS, Social Stories/Comic Strip Illustrations, Social Skills Groups, Emotional Regulation and Behaviour Support.
  • Advice and support to mainstream SENCos, Teachers and Teaching Assistants.
  • Advice on how the children and young people with an Autism Spectrum Condition can access the curriculum effectively.
  • Individual or small group staff training.
  • Liaison with parents and carers.
  • One to one or small group work with children and young people.
  • Support settings to develop, social skills sessions, peer awareness sessions, circle of friends. 
  • Assistance with resources including visual supports e.g. timetables, sequence charts, social stories. 
  • Advice and evidence for statutory assessments, and support with Graduated Response Toolkit.
  • Liaison with Speech and Language Therapists, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT), Diagnostic Services, Paediatricians, Educational Psychologists and any other relevant professionals.
How can I access the service

Schools and settings can refer following a diagnosis or a working diagnosis. You must seek parent and carer agreement prior to referral.

Our input varies and is designed to ensure that we meet the individual needs of children and young people. Careful assessment is made; the level and type of support offered are reviewed regularly.

For further information, please email us at 

What happens when I become an adult? / Post 16 support

Specialist Teaching Support Service (STSS) Further Education (FE) Offer

(STSS comprises the following teams: Deaf/Hearing Inclusion, Vision Inclusion, Autism Inclusion and ASSIST)

This offer is for learners moving into FE colleges / apprenticeships at 16+.

Requests should be made directly into the Specialist Teaching Support Service office or via ASSIST (Autism and Sensory Support in Staffordshire).

Provision varies according to whether a young person has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) or is receiving support as part of the Graduated Response.

Learners who have an Education, Health Care Plan (EHCP) which is maintained by Staffordshire County Council.

Learners who have an EHCP that identifies specific Hearing Impairment / Vision Impairment / Autism Provision, will be eligible to access specialist teacher advice for transition and for statutory reviews.  This support is centrally commissioned by Staffordshire County Council [SCC].

Specialist Teacher statutory support may include:

  • Assessment of need as part of an Education, Health and Care Plan Needs Assessment [EHCNA] where agreed by SCC.
  • Report writing to inform EHCNA.
  • Review, attendance and advice at EHCP Annual Review meetings.  This will include the annual review prior to transition into post-16 provision. 
  • Where there is a significant change to the planned post-16 course programme, timetable or setting, further specialist teacher advice will be offered by the Service to the SEND Assessment and Planning Team in relation to appropriate support / provision and this may include one visit to the student or education provider post transfer.

Where the FE provider does not currently employ specialist staff to provide the support identified within a student’s EHCP, the Specialist Teaching Support Service and/or ASSIST may be able to provide this upon request. This support will be charged to the education provider, so the provider will need to apply for the appropriate FE funding to cover this.

Support may include:

  • Awareness training.
  • Specialist teaching support e.g. tutorials, language support, ICT access and specialist mentoring.
  • Specialist Mobility and Orientation Officers.
  • Communication Support Workers.
  • British Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Lip-speakers.
  • Note-takers.
  • Translation and transcription, including braille, moon, audio description.

Other than for statutory transition support and reviews, assessors and course providers need to check availability before naming members of the SSS teams in documentation. 

Learners who have identified needs at the Graduated Response Level

Where learners require assessment or support as part of the graduated response, this may be purchased from the Specialist Teaching Support Service or ASSIST if there is capacity. 

Support may include:

  • Awareness training.
  • Guidance on Assess, Plan, Do, Review.
  • Specialist teaching support e.g. tutorials, language support, ICT access and specialist mentoring.
  • Specialist Mobility and Orientation Officers.
  • Communication Support Workers.
  • British Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Lip-speakers.
  • Note-takers.
  • Translation and transcription, including braille, moon, audio description.

Assessors and course providers need to check availability before naming any of the STSS teams for support. 

Specialist Access Technology

Specialist access technology; e.g. radio aids, braillers, embossers can be provided, and the Specialist Teaching Support Service has a loan agreement for the education provider. There is a cost to this Service and the agreement will include advice, set up and routine maintenance. 

Parental Feedback

“Excellent communication, access is very open and supportive. Nothing is too much trouble, and the support is very welcome, particularly getting school on-board. We could not have got this far without you. Thank you.”

“The specialist knowledge and experience provide unique support to ASD pupils to allow them to function, achieve, progress and fit in school. It's a fantastic service!”

“The work they do with my son is invaluable. The specialist support is not available in school.”

“Very supportive, excellent communication, and approachable. My son feels the help and support he has received has been extremely helpful to him.”

“Whenever there is an issue with my son struggling with school which cannot be resolved AOT have proved helpful in providing alternative options / solutions which have greatly helped my son.”

School Feedback

“…they are brilliant and help with all kinds of issues and support. They are so knowledgeable and helpful.”

“I would just like to express our thanks for the support we have had from the Autism Inclusion Team and I hope that this level of support can continue.“ 

“We find the Austism Team an invaluable service. They offer staff, parents, and pupils tailored support. This ranges from individual pupil support, to working with staff and parents. They are very knowledgeable, supportive, and responsive. All the team who have supported our pupils have made an impact on the children's ability to understand situations and have supported their ability to learn.” 

“Service is fab! Very supportive on a practical level, and give good advice which is ‘followable’. We have received invaluable support for our children who have an autism diagnosis including support with engaging parents.”

“The Autism Inclusion team have been a vital resource to support our children who have Autism. They are a comprehensive team, who can be contacted for advice and support. They do their upmost with regards to arranging times to come into school to support the children as soon as they can. Their knowledge and skills are extremely important and very much needed for the children.”

Useful Links

Autism Education Trust 

Autism Education Trust is a not-for-profit organistation supported by the Department for Education. They offer advice to help children and young people with Autism to receive an education that enables them to reach their potential. There are links to resources, training and FAQ's: Autism Education Trust 

Autism West Midlands 

Autism West Midlands is the leading charity in the West Midlands working with both children and adults. They use their expertise to offer a range of support and advice services for parents and carers: Autism West Midlands

Midlands Partnership NHS

Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (NHS) is an Autism service that supports children, young people and their families in South Staffordshire. Providing information for referrals, videos and FAQ's: Midlands Partnership

The National Autistic Society 

The National Autistic Society is a charity proving information on what Autism is, the diagnosis process, and provides any follow up support. They also have information, an online community and various training courses, including continence: The National Autistic Society

Ambitious about Autism 

Ambitious about Autism is a chariety run site, providing support for children and young adults with their transition into education, employment, or training. Ambitious about Autism | National charity for autistic children and young people

Further Information

Please see below a list of our Information Leaflets which are available on request.

Accessing the Team

Autism High School Resource bases

Creating a Calm Environment

Emotions & Autism - Five Point Scale

Enhanced Input for Children from R-Y6 in Mainstream Education 

Social Stories & Comic Strip Conversations 

Staffordshire  Primary Interaction Curriculum Team (SPRINT)

TEACCH - Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children

Transfer to High School for pupils with an ASC 

Managaing Anxiety

If you, or someone you know, would like a copy of these leaflets either in large print, braille, an audio tape or in languages other than English, please contact the Autism Inclusion Team by phone on 01785 356830 or by email:

Who to contact

Contact Name
Samantha Turnbull
Contact Position
Head Of Sensory and Autism Inclusion Teams
01785 356830 01785 356830
Autism Inclusion Team Facebook Page

Kate Prinold

Deputy Head of Sensory Team (Lead AIT)

01785 356830

Where to go

Specialist Teaching Support Service - Autism Inclusion Team
Staffordshire Place 2
Tipping Street
ST16 2DH


Referral required

DBS Checks

Have staff or volunteers been DBS (CRB) checked?


Save to Shortlist
Skip back to top of page