Mandatory Autism awareness training for mainstream schools

I would like all staff members in mainstream schools to be trained on autism and how to cope with meltdowns, I would also like awareness on autism put through assembly’s in school on a monthly basis to refresh children’s minds that not all people are the same. Making this mandatory could save lives.

11,985 Signatures

Status: Open
Opened: 19 Oct 2020, 11:15 a.m.
Last 24 hours signatures : 10
Estimated Final Signatures: 15,661

Daily Rank: #377 • Weekly Rank: #695 • Total Rank: #125

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Recent Documents related to Mandatory Autism awareness training for mainstream schools

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Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Mandatory Autism awareness training for mainstream schools

1. Children and Young People: Restrictive Intervention
25/04/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: people.I will start by thanking the hon. Members for Dulwich and West Norwood (Helen Hayes) and - Speech Link
2: strict instructions to keep to time. I hope that Members will accept that, with my apologies.This - Speech Link

2. Health: Learning Disability and Autism Training
10/02/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: to mandate training on learning disability and autism for all health and social care staff in England - Speech Link
2: to empower people with learning disability and autism and to educate those who support them.Paula - Speech Link

3. Autism
29/03/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: move,That this House notes that World Autism Awareness Week 2018 runs from 26 March to 2 April; believes - Speech Link
2: children in school and to autistic adults in or seeking employment, to reduce waiting times for autism diagnosis - Speech Link

4. Special Educational Needs and Disability Funding
29/01/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: which strongly criticised Richmond Council’s children’s services provider, Achieving for Children, for - Speech Link
2: huge crisis in funding not just for SEND but for schools and local authority services across the board? - Speech Link
3: enormous funding pressures on local councils and schools throughout the country. The SEND funding landscape - Speech Link
4: refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Does she agree that part - Speech Link

5. Services for People with Autism
21/03/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: this House has considered services for people with autism.Every year, my right hon. Friend the Member - Speech Link

6. Autism Community: Mental Health and Suicide
30/11/2017 - Commons Chamber

1: ensure that the NICE-recommended indicator for autism in GP registers is included in the Quality and - Speech Link
2: ensure that the NICE-recommended indicator for autism in GP registers is included in the Quality and - Speech Link
3: Will the hon. Lady join me in thanking the Whole Autism Family, a charity run by Anne-Marie and Martin - Speech Link
4: the Gallery today representing Ambitious About Autism. Their recent campaign and research project, “Know - Speech Link
5: experience on the ground for young people with autism and their families, and indeed across the lifespan - Speech Link

7. Children and Mental Health Services
16/07/2019 - Westminster Hall

1: serve under your chairmanship, Mr Pritchard. We could not be in better hands. It is a delight to have - Speech Link
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3: people did not share his foresight, so that we could have acted sooner. We are laying the foundations - Speech Link
4: a head at the age of 13. She wanted to see the school counsellor, but her needs were not deemed to be - Speech Link

8. Autism and Learning Disability Training: Healthcare Professionals
22/10/2018 - Westminster Hall

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2: had training on learning disability or autism. This is unacceptable. Two thirds want more training, and - Speech Link

9. World Autism Awareness Week
28/04/2016 - Commons Chamber

1: move,That this House notes that World Autism Awareness Week was held from 2 to 8 April; believes - Speech Link
2: public awareness campaign so that people can make the changes that will help the UK become autism-friendly - Speech Link

10. Mental Health Education in Schools
06/11/2017 - Westminster Hall

1: 176555 relating to mental health education in schools.It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship - Speech Link
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Recent Questions related to Mandatory Autism awareness training for mainstream schools
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Having autism awareness spread is important to thousands of family’s across the world and if schools knew more maybe the kids could be a bit better on school.

Government Response

The Government is committed to ensuring teachers and other education staff have access to training to develop and build on their awareness and understanding of supporting children with autism.

The Government’s ambition is for every child, no matter what challenges they face, to have access to a world-class education that sets them up for life.

All teachers are teachers of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including children with autism. High quality teaching which is responsive to children's individual needs is particularly important for autistic children and others with SEND.

As part of their initial training, trainee teachers must satisfy the Teachers’ Standards, which include a requirement that they have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with autism, and that they are able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.

Headteachers and local authorities are usually best placed to decide the training needs of their staff, in line with local needs and circumstances. The Government does not propose to make training in autism mandatory for staff in mainstream schools. All schools are expected to ensure that their staff have a good understanding of pupils' SEND, and are able to adapt their teaching accordingly. Schools are required to support this through their performance management and continuous professional development processes.

The DfE is committed to supporting the development of teachers' and educational professionals' skills, as well as evidence based and effective practice within schools and other education settings.

The DfE has been funding the Autism Education Trust (AET) since 2011 to deliver autism awareness training to staff in early years settings, schools and colleges. AET actively promote improved autism practice within settings and improved educational access, and provide a range of practical resources to inform practice at both setting and practitioner levels. They promote communities of practice to facilitate mutual support and shared learning. The AET has also developed national standards for autism support and a progression framework for those who work with children who have autism. These are available from their website at

To date, the AET has trained more than 277,000 people via its regional networks, not just teachers and teaching assistants, but also receptionists, dining hall staff and caretakers, promoting a whole-school approach to support for pupils with autism.

The DfE also fund the work of the National Autistic Society in providing advice and information on exclusions to parents and education professionals.

In addition, the DfE has funded the National Association for Special Educational Needs (nasen), on behalf of the Whole School SEND consortium, for a programme of work to embed SEND into school practice. This year (2020/21) included within the programme of work is the development of an Autism Resource Suite for primary and secondary schools.

In relation to school assemblies, it is the responsibility of the senior managers in schools to plan topics for discussions. However teaching about respectful relationships is now a compulsory part of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education which became statutory in the curriculum from September 2020.

At primary school pupils should be taught about the importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs.

This is built on at secondary school and covers the characteristics of healthy friendships and relationships, and how stereotypes can cause damage. The statutory content includes bullying and harassment and legal rights and responsibilities regarding equality, including that everyone is unique and equal. More information on the content can be found in the Relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education - GOV.UK (

The DfE has published Teaching about relationships, sex and health - GOV.UK (, alongside implementation guidance which equips all schools to provide comprehensive teaching in these areas in an age-appropriate way, giving schools the confidence to construct a curriculum that reflects diversity of views and backgrounds, whilst fostering all pupils’ respect for others, understanding of healthy relationships, and ability to look after their own wellbeing.

For all these reasons, the Government believes it is not on balance necessary to mandate training for mainstream schools in the manner suggested.

Department for Education

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (