We help staff in schools to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people who are on the autism spectrum or who have complex social communication needs.

The purpose of our service is to:

  • Work collaboratively with schools and other educational settings to meet their statutory duties (including both Special Educational and Equalities legislation).
  • Support schools to develop their practice in order to meet the needs of children and young people who are on the autism spectrum.
  • Help children and young people who are on the autism spectrum to be included in all aspects of their school life.
  • Contribute to raising achievement.
  • Promote safeguarding and emotional wellbeing.

Range of work undertaken

  • To provide assessment, support intervention, and offer consultation with staff, children and their families in the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies. Our involvement aims to promote better outcomes in terms of curriculum access, communication, social, behavioural and sensory issues, and emotional development.
  • To support school staff in identifying, assessing and planning to meet the needs of their pupils and fulfilling their statutory duties within the SEN Code of Practice.
  • Developing and sharing appropriate resources, including teaching materials, as well as information about autism and associated communication difficulties to individuals, groups and organisations.
  • To deliver training to individual schools and/or clusters of schools including one off sessions, or a series of workshops, according to particular needs in order to build the capacity of educational settings so that all of their pupils will be able to enjoy and achieve. We offer a range of specialist continuing professional development (CPD) packages including three tiers of training: introductory, intermediate and advanced.
  • Whole school development.
  • Whole school training.
  • Sharing good practice and information exchange between schools working with children and young people on the autism spectrum through involvement in strategic planning and development of policy, practice and resources for children and young people on the autism spectrum within County Durham.
  • Continuing to promote and support interagency working in support meeting the child or young person’s needs.
  • Contributing, as appropriate, to specialist multi-agency assessment for the purpose of diagnosis and initial care pathway. 

Our work recognises that within the range of pupils on the autism spectrum or with related communication disorders, there are a range of needs. For some schools and pupils these needs can be well met from existing resources, knowledge and skills. For other pupils and schools, sometimes just for particular periods of time, a higher level of more targeted support and/or training will be required.

Who to contact

Contact name
Liz Mulholland
Contact position
Team Leader
03000 263 333

Where to go

Education Development Centre
Enterprise Way
County Durham
DL16 6YP

Other details

Referral required?
Referral and availability notes

Works with schools and settings to meet the needs of children with an autistic spectrum disorder or related communication difficulty.


Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.

Journey planner

Address: Education Development Centre  Enterprise Way  Spennymoor  County Durham

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