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Bowlee ParkCommunity Primary School

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Autism Champions

At Bowlee Park, we strive to provide a high quality education where all of our pupils can achieve their full potential and become the best they can possibly be. We have many pupils who have additional needs including ASC and therefore providing an inclusive ethos across school is paramount in order to meet these needs.


Mrs Ritchie is Bowlee Park’s ‘Autism Champion’. She has worked closely with the Rochdale Additional Needs Service (RANS) and the Educational Psychology service in order to deliver a new strategic model to meet the needs of our pupils with ASC.


Why do we need Autism Champions?

There are an increasing number of children and young people in our schools and colleges with a diagnosis of ASC. Many of these pupils find the expectations, demands and physical environments of schools extremely challenging. Literature highlights some of the problems experienced by pupils with ASC in our schools such as anxiety, bullying, social isolation and acute sensory sensitivities. It is suggested that many children/young people with ASC may be academically able to access the mainstream curriculum yet will probably require a range of social/emotional support systems in order for them to meet their potential in school. Evidence suggests that many can be accommodated successfully if they are provided with the appropriate support structures. Research has also found that although many teachers say they are committed to the philosophy of inclusion, they do not feel they have the necessary training or support to provide effectively for these pupils.

What is the role of the Autism Champions?


  • Be responsible for co-ordinating support to meet the social, emotional and learning needs of pupils in the school with ASC
  • Be an advocate for the children/young people, listening to their personal stories in order to gain valuable insight into their personal experiences
  • Provide a safe space for pupils to access drop-ins, emotional support, lunchtime clubs, scheduled intervention groups etc
  • Share knowledge and information with setting staff about individual pupils with ASC to enable consistent approaches throughout
  • Liaise with other professionals and agencies
  • Liaise with parents/carers and provide advice/support
  • Be responsible for facilitating transition plans for pupils.
  • Co-ordinate training for setting staff