Autism Friendly Schools Project

If you are registered in the 2022/23 school year please click to access the portal.

This page will outline AsIAm’s Autism Friendly School Programme, which seeks to enact autism-friendly practices on a school-wide level. The programme is not to be confused with our school talks, which can be accessed here.

AsIAm, in cooperation with the Joint Managerial Body and Irish Primary Principal’s Network, began conducting an Autism-Friendly Schools Pilot with 118 National and Secondary Schools across Ireland. Participating schools were supported in reflecting on their practice, identifying challenges and solutions, creating an inclusive culture and building knowledge and understanding of autism amongst staff and students. To date, we have worked with over 400 schools across the country. 

The project aims to support schools in the provision of inclusive educational placements for autistic children and young people alongside specialist provision. It is designed to reaffirm good practice and support those wishing to foster a school culture that is inclusive of autistic students. The project will cover the following areas: 

  • Teaching and Learning 
  • Inclusive School Culture 
  • Leadership and Management 
  • Staff professional development 

Online application forms are available on this page each September. Once a school has applied and been accepted onto the Autism Friendly Schools Project, they will complete the following steps: 

  1. Release two staff members (preferably one mainstream class teacher and one special education/learning support teacher) to attend 3 workshops over the course of the academic year (two online and one in-person).  
  2. Use the Autism Friendly Schools toolkit for in-school assessments and the development of strategic planning for inclusion. Participants will get access to an online toolkit to support engagement. 
  3. Promote the AsIAm Autism Friendly Schools CPD course and make this available to all staff / colleagues. 
  4. Actively promote the school’s participation in the Autism Friendly Schools Project among the wider school community, via social media, BOM meetings, PTA meetings, autism awareness events / activities etc. 

Please note – there will be no provision for travel expenses/sub-cover. As we are a charity, the programme is dependent on an investment from starting and returning schools to cover the cost of the three training days. The cost of the programme for new schools is €500 and the cost for returning schools (years 2 and 3) is €300 The data compiled from the online toolkit will be anonymized and no school or individual will be identifiable. This aims to form a national perspective on how primary and post-primary schools are engaging in autism-friendly practices. 

Due to a high demand for places on the project, we have closed expressions of interest for this year. Returning schools who are signing up for year 2 or 3 can contact us at [email protected] to confirm their place if they haven’t already done so

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