Education news

Charity demands mandatory autism training for teachers

A charity has called for mandatory autism training for all teaching staff in Northern Ireland

AUTISM training should be made mandatory for all teaching staff, a charity has urged.

Hundreds of people attended a rally at Stormont yesterday where Autism NI handed over a petition.

The charity wants the Department of Education to introduce training "to ensure the best possible educational outcomes for all autistic children".

An Autism NI survey found that one in three children were on a reduced timetable at school.

Chief executive Kerry Boyd said this was unacceptable.

"As the vast majority of autistic children, 78 per cent, are placed in mainstream education, all teaching staff in Northern Ireland should be sufficiently trained to work with an autistic child so reduced timetables become a thing of the past," she said.

"If teachers are given the correct skills and strategies to understand autism, they can support our children to reach their full potential and give them the same opportunities in life as every other child has.

"As it stands now, this is not happening. All we are asking is to have an equal playing field where autistic children have access to achieving the same supportive educational experience as other children do."

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