Our Education Hub provides support for early years settings, primary and secondary schools working with young children and people with a diagnosis of Autism.

We are part of the SEND and Inclusion Team, within Bristol City Council's Specialist Education and Access Service. We contribute to better outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families by developing school staff's:

  • awareness and knowledge of Autistic Spectrum Condition,
  • good practice Autistic Spectrum Condition strategies to support learning and social emotional needs of children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions.

We offer advice and support for Bristol home address children and young people who meet the statutory criteria, within a variety of educational settings:

  • mainstream educational settings within Bristol Local Authority;
  • mainstream educational settings within other Local Authorities;
  • the Bristol Hospital Education Service;
  • Alternative Learning Provisions and
  • Children Missing Education.


What support do you offer schools?

The Bristol Autism Team Education Hub is led by a Senior Specialist Teacher, and has teams for Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Post-16 phases, comprising Specialist Teachers and Mentors with experience in both mainstream and specialist settings.

As well as written advice available to all, educational settings can request direct input from our Education Hub for Bristol home address children and young people who meet the statutory criteria.

We offer a staged process of input:

Stage 1: Inital consultation, whereby information on strengths, needs and concerns is gathered through:

  • observing the child or young person in the educational setting
  • talking to the child or young person as appropriate
  • discussion with all relevant staff
  • discussion with parent/carers

A consultation report will be provided, which sets out our recommendations.

The outcome of the review will be either:

  • 'Open to Review' which means that our recommendations will be implemented and reviewed by the Educational Setting in line with the usual response to SEN support. The setting can seek further advice through their BAT Link Professional and can request further direct input through the referral process should concerns escalate or needs significantly change; or
  • Progression to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Direct targeted short-term input through a series 1-6 visits to the educational setting, in order to advise and support on the implementation of our recommendations. Both the implementation and impact of recommendations is given a red-amber-green rating on each visit. At any point during stage 2, it may be agreed that further direct input is no longer needed, and the child or young person is made 'Open to Review'. However, should the child or young person have such significant and persistant difficulties that further input is needed beyond the 6 visits, then they would progress to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Further direct input through a further 1-6 visits to the educational setting. On going review as above, with further staged of input available for those with highly significant levels of need.

The support a child or young person gets from our team is always based on their individual needs.  This means the input we offer might look different for each child and young person.


How do I start getting your support in school?

Bristol Autism Team supports settings and schools with Bristol home address pupils with a diagnosis of Autism from aged 4 – 18 years. At present we do not support pupils who do not have a diagnosis of Autism. Schools complete our referral form in order to request direct support for pupils meeting or criteria.

For Early Years pupils, settings can send a referral to the Early Years Portage and Inclusion Service.


How will families know about the support you are giving and how well it is working?

For further information about the universal support we offer to educational settings, please click on the links below:

Bristol Autism Ways of Working can be viewed here

Bristol Autism Team Toolkits for Early Years, Primary and Secondary/Post 16 educational settings can be viewed here, and have been sent to all educational settings.

When making a referral, the educational setting should first gain parental consent. As part of the inital consultation visit/s, parents should be invited into the educational setting for a meeting with the Bristol Autism Link Professional, and parental views will be included in the consult report and reflected in the tagets and strategies recommended.We encourage schools to book an interpreter for families for whom English is not their first language.

The Bristol Autism Team Link Professional will keep an ongoing record of progress relating to the targets and strategies recommended, which is emailed to the SENCO for distribution to all relevant parties, and parents should recieve a copy of this record each time it is updated.

For more information on the Bristol Autism Team we would encourage parent and carers to discuss concerns with the SENCO within their child's educational setting. In order to access the Education Hub, a referral must be completed by the SENCO and emailed to the Bristol Autism Link Professional for that setting.


Our Autism Hotline

If you have a question about autism you can contact us on Bristol.Autism.HotLine@bristol.gov.uk.  This service operates term-time only.


How do you support children and young people outside of school?

Family Support Workers

Bristol Autism Team also has two Family Support Workers who support families who are referred by teams from within the Bristol Birth to 25 Integrated Service and Collaboration. Please contact the team manager for more information.

Courses for parents and carers

We oversee some courses for parents and carers who have a child or young person with autism.  These courses offer:

  • information and advice on Autism
  • a chance to learn ways to support your child
  • opportunities to meet other parents
  • information on what services and benefits you can access. 

These courses run throughout the year. Read Bristol Autism Team's Family Course brochure.


Understanding Autism Parent Seminar

For families who have a child/young person 5 - 18 who has just been given a diagnosis of Autism.

More information on Understanding Autism.

Early Birds

This course is for parents and carers of children under 5 with autism.

More information on Early Birds.


This course is for parents and carers of primary school age children with autism.

More information on Cygnet

Dates for Cygnet

Teenage life

This course is for parents and carers of young people (8-18) with autism or social communication and interaction needs (no diagnosis needed).

More information on Teenage Life.

Dates for Teenage Life.

Bristol Autism Team Ways of Working 2017-2018

Bristol Autism Team Referral and Pupil Record 2017-2018

Referral form to attend a Bristol Autism Team Parent Course.

Contact Menai Gore (Family Courses Business Support Officer) for more information on courses from Bristol Autism Team on 0117 903 7597 or autismfamilycourses@bristol.gov.uk.


This page has information for residents in the City of Bristol.  Find out about what other Local Authorities do.

Last Update 7 December 2017 by Findability Team.


We make sure we keep information on Findability as up to date as we can.  If you think this page is out of date or inaccurate please contact us on sendplus@bristol.gov.uk.  Findability is not responsible for the content of external websites.