Teachers and staff who work at schools on the Island are to undertake training on inclusion, which will include autism awareness training, to help expand their knowledge, understanding and practice. This mandatory training will complement the recently launched Continuum of Learning and Inclusion (COLI).
COLI is a government framework used for supporting and including children and young people in education by providing research and practical tools to assist in the identification and support of learning needs.
All secondary schools will carry out training on autism to teachers before the end of the academic year.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for DESC, said:
‘Ensuring our Island’s schools are supportive and inclusive to students of all needs is extremely important. Schools will be working closely with department officers over this academic year to deliver training on inclusivity, ensuring that we deliver high quality education and support to all of the Island’s pupils.’
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture will be supporting this training through the schools’ In Service Day on 28th May 2019, where the theme and focus will be Inclusion.
Ahead of this, a number of leading speakers from the UK will also be visiting the Island on the 2nd May to present to senior leaders on topics including special needs education, behaviour, and learner engagement.
Teaching staff have also been offered training based on improving outcomes for autistic students in mainstream education, due to take place later this month. This will be provided by Jim Taylor, former Director of Education for Scottish Autism who is being brought to the Island by Autism in Man. This session, specifically for teachers, will explore how a contemporary understanding of the learning style of autistic students can have a positive impact with mainstream settings.