Find an NQT SEND Teaching Job with Axcis

Are you an NQT looking for a SEND teaching job? Find out here why it’s a great idea and how Axcis can help you!

Who are Axcis?

Axcis are the leading company specialising purely in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) recruitment. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Axcis have a team of dedicated consultants – many of whom come from a SEND background themselves – who can help you to find SEND teaching jobs in both mainstream and specialist settings across England and Wales.

Get an NQT SEND Job with Axcis

Why NQTs should consider a SEND teaching job with Axcis

  • Full and part-time teaching and support work available
  • Gain SEND experience in a range of schools before deciding on your preferred area of the education sector
  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of SEND – become a more rounded education professional
  • Excellent training and development opportunities
  • Competitive rates of pay
  • Flexibility with level of commitment required
  • Permanent opportunities available which offer full induction support

What do other NQTs say about working for Axcis?

I registered with Axcis because my second placement school during my PGCE were not able to offer me a permanent post and I decided to explore special needs and find out whether this was a good option for my personal career path. I didn’t have much SEN experience (just what my PGCE had covered), but my consultant at Axcis was great and asked me lots of questions about what I was looking for and how my current skills and experience could fit into a SEN setting. I did a few days of supply work at different schools and quickly learned that special needs schools can be very different to each other! I really enjoyed working at an MLD school and was surprised at just how quickly I fitted in. After a term of supply, the school offered me a permanent contract and are supporting my Induction. I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out – thank you Axcis! Jenny, Primary Teacher

Sounds Interesting – what’s next?

If you are interested in finding an NQT SEND teaching job with Axcis, you can either call your local branch for a chat, or you can register online – it takes just 5 minutes and one of our consultants will be in touch. You’ll have a no-pressure chat about what you are looking for and what skills you can offer, and if we feel we can help you, and you feel that we are the right company for you, we will ask you to come in and have a registration interview. From there you could be out working as quickly as the next day! There is no charge for our service, so what do you have to lose?

Refer a friend to Axcis

Refer a friend to Axcis and earn up to £250 in shopping vouchers – Andy is off shopping, are you?

Refer other NQTs and get a bonus of up to £250

It’s worth noting that Axcis offer a generous referral bonus – so if you know any other friends who might be interested in a role with us, why not take a look at how it works, and refer them to us today? Once they’ve done 20 days work for Axcis, you’ll get a handsome reward!

SEND News Roundup from our Partners

At Axcis, we are thrilled to be associated with the National Autistic Society and nasen. Each month, we bring you the latest news highlights from our partners, so if you’d like to know what’s been happening with these great organisations and in the world of SEND, read on.

NAS News

Below you’ll find a list of some of the latest autism news, compiled by our friends at Network Autism. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.


Get the latest SEND news here with Axcis

  1. Research suggests autistic people are among most lonely and isolated in UK
  2. New European project focusing on autism and employment
  3. New autism research podcast
  4. Sir Michael Rutter interviewed by Jack Welch
  5. Jack Tizard issue on autism and learning disabilities
  6. Benefits of social media for autistic people
  7. Autism screening tool may miss some women
  8. Warnings over lack of support for autistic people
  9. New resources to prevent exclusion of autistic pupils from school
  10. App to support autistic people with anxiety

Nasen News

Below you’ll find a list of the latest SEND news from our friends at nasen. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.


  1. nasen CEO Dr Adam Boddison will be speaking at SEND Conference
  2. £50 million worth of additional funding for SEND announced
  3. Your chance to represent schools on the NEW Whole School SEND Programme Board
  4. The Department for Education has published final pre-key stage standards
  5. nasen appoints National Director for Whole School SEND

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.


South London Special School Design New Cards for Axcis

We asked the students at Highshore special school to design some greetings cards for us using our loveable mascot, Axcis Andy. See the fantastic submissions we received here as well as the three which were selected to go into production.

Why do we need cards?

We received lots of fantastic designs based around our mascot, Axcis Andy

At Axcis, we do our best to show our appreciation to the candidates and clients who work with us – and although a greetings card is just a piece of paper (well, card!), it goes a long way towards showing the people who we work with that we care. It might be a thank-you note for a job well done, an introduction or an apology – whatever the reason, we seem to get through lots of cards!


That’s why Axcis London decided that the time for using store-bought cards was over. We wanted something a bit more personal. And who better to design our new greetings cards than the students we ultimately support? Highshore school – one of the special schools we have worked with for many years – agreed to run a greetings card competition with their students for us. The idea was to use our mascot, Axcis Andy, as part of the design. The end result was to be 3 cards taken forward to production and for everyday use as part of our business activities here at Axcis. There were 30+ entries and 3 winners. Each entrant won an Axcis Andy teddy bear and certificate which was presented in their assembly and the 3 winners won a £10 shopping voucher.


Picking winners was tricky, but we got there in the end!


The winning designs

We are thrilled with our three winning designs – they will go into production soon, so if you’re a candidate or client for Axcis, keep an eye on your mail – you never know when you might get one!


Winning design 1


Winning design 2


Winning design 3


Would you like to work with Axcis?

If you’d like to work for an agency which genuinely values it’s relationships with both candidates and clients alike, why not register online or get in touch with your local Axcis office today to find out how we can help you? We have offices across England and Wales and a team of expert consultants who would love to assist you.

Cerebral Palsy and Me (Guest post)

Christopher Day is an Education Consultant for Axcis in our Manchester office. In this personal guest blog, he tells us what it’s like to grow up with Cerebral Palsy as well as sharing some advice he’d give those who are new to working with others who have the condition.


Chris Day, Axcis Manchester

Cerebral Palsy, in my case, was caused by two separate things. I was born prematurely (28 weeks 2lbs 1oz, given a 10% chance of survival) and through a lack of oxygen to the brain during the birthing process, my cerebellum was damaged (the bit of the brain that carries signals to muscles).


It affects me in many different ways. My most visible physical issue is that I walk with a gait and (when tired) carry my left arm (as in walk with my left arm at a 90 degree angle). These are not the things that actually cause me any real issue though. Yes, walking for long periods hurts my legs as my muscles are under developed (but everyone’s legs hurt when walking for a long time) and yes, walking about with your arm at 90 degrees looks a little…eermm odd. The biggest effect is on my co-ordination, balance and general speed (as in speed of both thought and movement). I am unable to do things that your average person would not even consider, such as, ride a bike, use a screwdriver, drive a manual car or climb etc… anything that requires you to do two things at once. (Think changing gear and turning a steering wheel). It also affects my thinking process, especially when I am tired.


I also have Graphic Dyslexia which is caused by my CP. This affects my ability to take in peripheral understanding, for instance, I lack the ability to remember directional information, meaning I get lost when I am not in familiar surroundings and I am unable remember directions from one place to another (unless very familiar).


School was strange. I had a statement as a child (later to become an EHC plan) meaning I was afforded my own teaching assistant (Mrs Symes, God rest her soul!) It was automatically assumed that I had special needs – and therefore, I was going to struggle academically. As it happened I often got in trouble for being too opinionated and I was pretty much top of my class in most subjects (apart from PE!!) My needs were physical (at that age) but rather than letting me run around and fall over, like the other kids, I was taken inside every dinnertime to read or “help clean the classroom”. In those days, it was determined that a boy with SEND should be kept separate so I “didn’t get hurt” I was segregated rather than integrated with my peers. I say to this day that it was that segregation that made me as determined as I became. I was socially accepted, I wanted to play football, rugby and cricket and just be normal. In my head I could do all those things as I had never known any different than walking and running a bit funny. Yes there was a bully or two during my time at school but again, lots of people go through stuff like that, it wasn’t nice and my parents helped me through as all parents would with there child. High school was very much the same It was only when I went to college and did Performing Arts that things changed…


If you are working with a child or adult with CP, my advice would be to make no assumptions! Ask questions instead. Of course there are children who are severely handicapped who must receive a level of care. CP is a barrier to what you let it be a barrier to! I would say ‘attempt to do what people say you can’t’. I love helping children, seeing the sense of achievement is amazing.


Nothing I have ever done has come easy to me and I have had to pick my battles in life. I would say the greatest challenge was not giving up. It took me 4 years to pass my driving test, 3 years to walk, 2 years to lose 5 stone in weight. I have had dislocated knees, broken bones, numerous operations and surgeries, I have bench pressed 120kg, leg pressed half a ton, swum a mile, sung and danced in stage shows. I am happily married and I have a beautiful little boy of my own. All of this took me a long time, but these were all goals of mine and I didn’t consider my disability a barrier – I just got on with it.


I would like to add, my parents told me to do whatever I wanted to and all the thanks I have in the world goes to them. Without their belief that I could do anything who knows where I might have ended up!


Chris Day


Huge thanks go to Chris for sharing his story. If you’d like to work with Chris, or if you have a passion for SEND in general and would like to find out more about working in specialist schools or provisions, why not get in touch with your local Axcis office today?


Axcis proud to continue sponsorship of nasen for a further 12 months

Axcis Education, the UK leader in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) recruitment, has today announced its continued partnership with nasen, the National Association of Special Educational Needs, for a further 12 months.

Axcis at last years nasen Live conference. From left to right: Emily Marbaix (Axcis), Adam Boddison (nasen), Sara Wills (Axcis) and Mat Webber (Axcis)

Nasen supports thousands of practitioners by providing relevant information, training and resources to enable staff to meet all pupils’ needs. Working with dedicated education professionals, nasen aims to ensure that practice for special and additional needs is both effective and current.


Paul Gold, Axcis Education Executive Chairman, explains:

“Giving something back to the SEND sector is hugely important to us at Axcis and that’s why we are proud to continue this sponsorship agreement with nasen for another 12 months. The work they do is invaluable to raising standards for SEND and spreading good practice, and we are thrilled to be a part of that.”

Dr Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of nasen said:

“Over the last 26 years, nasen have been committed to providing the most effective and relevant support for all those working with children and young people with SEND. We are extremely delighted to be continuing our valuable relationship with Axcis and I know that with their sponsorship support over the next 12 months, we can really further enhance our support, advice and guidance for education professionals working within the SEND sector.”


If you need help to find specialist SEND staff, or if you are seeking a new role yourself, why not get in touch with Axcis today?



Nasen to host NEW important SEND early years resources

As proud sponsors of nasen (the National Association for Special Educational Needs), Axcis are pleased to spread the news about exciting new resources which are aimed at securing the highest quality practice and provision for children with SEND in the early years sector.

About the resources

Last years nasen Live conference. From left to right: Emily Marbaix (Axcis), Adam Boddison (nasen), Sara Wills (Axcis) and Mat Webber (Axcis)

Created by the Department for Education, the new resources will continue to be hosted by nasen and are available on the SEND Gateway, an online portal hosting a bank of resources and best practice examples for SEND professionals.



Under the SEND Code of Practice (2015), all Early Years group settings are expected to identify a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (or SENCO) in order to manage the identification and support of children aged 0-5 with special educational needs and disabilities. Unlike in maintained schools (including maintained nursery schools), the EY SENCO does not have to be a qualified teacher; however, it is important that an Early Years SENCO is well trained and prepared so that they can carry out the role effectively.



The first resource, a specification for a Level 3 Early Years SENCO qualification is ideal for awarding bodies wishing to construct a Level 3 Early Years SENCO Award and is relevant to group settings such as private, voluntary and independent nurseries. Find it on the SEND Gateway at
Alongside this qualification specification, the Department has also published a template Early Years SENCO job description, which settings may wish to use to help in their recruitment process to this important role. Early Years practitioners may also wish to use this job description to help them in deciding if this is a career path that they may wish to follow. The EY SENCO job description is also published in the SEND Gateway and can be found at
Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi said:
“This government wants every child to have the support they need to unlock their potential, no matter what challenges they face. This is why we put in place new measures to improve the SEND training available to school staff, including tools developed through our work with organisations like nasen, to boost the profile of early years professionals working with children who have additional learning needs – building on a commitment set out in our Early Years Workforce Strategy.”
Chief Executive at nasen, Dr Adam Boddison said:
“By supporting early years settings to identify and meet the needs of children with SEND, we can help children to start school with the best possible chance of reaching their full potential. Early years professionals are well placed to work in partnership with children and their families from the outset, ensuring that effective support is in place in the formative years of their development.”
This work follows on from the suite of materials created by nasen over the last 12 months which are aimed at increasing the confidence and skills of early years’ professionals to ultimately improve outcomes and access to provision for children with SEND.
The project, which secured funding from the Department for Education, has already reported a huge success, with over 41,000 people logging on to access the wide range of materials available. These materials have included online CPD, informative webcasts, mini-guides and face to face training materials. All of these resources can be found at

About the Axcis/nasen partnership

Find your next SEND job with Axcis

At Axcis, we are proud to have been partners with nasen for a number of years now. From supporting their annual flagship conference “nasen Live!” to sponsoring the development of online resources and initiatives, we are extremely proud to be associated this fantastic organisation and look forward to continuing this relationship for the foreseeable future.



As leaders in SEND recruitment, Axcis can help you if you are looking to recruit specialist teachers or support staff for your mainstream or alternative provision, so why not get in touch with your outstanding vacancies today? There is no charge for our service until we find you someone you’d like to hire, so there really is nothing to lose by giving us a try!



We would also love to hear from you if you are seeking a new teaching, support or school management role yourself – we have relationships with schools and alternative provisions across England and Wales and a huge list of vacancies which are updated daily, so why not take a look?

Why did our new staff choose to work for Axcis?

So often when testimonials from staff are published, they are written by long-standing members of the team who have experienced success and as a result are likely to be keen to sing the praises of the company they work for. But what about new staff? Why did they choose to work for Axcis? Find out here.

What our new staff say about working for Axcis

Cassie in Liverpool


‘’I accepted a role with Axcis because I wanted to work for a company who specialised in SEND. Working for Axcis has exceeded my expectations, there are not many people who can say ‘I love my job.’ I am proud to be part of the Axcis team.’’

Evie in Bristol


‘’I was thrilled to accept the role as an education consultant with Axcis because they are a company which genuinely cares about SEND. This was apparent in the way they offer CPD both to candidates, clients and its employees. During the interview process, I met several of my future colleagues and they were all so lovely, passionate and dedicated that I knew this was the company for me.’’

Rebecca in Liverpool


‘’It’s coming up to a year now that I’ve joined Axcis and I honestly can say that since I started I haven’t looked back.  My managers at Axcis are a great mix of guidance without the aspect of micro management that some other companies seem to have.  At Axcis I am supported to be the best I can be but given the freedom to try out new ideas and approaches.  I would recommend working for Axcis to anyone!’’

Kathryn in Bristol


‘’I was thrilled to be offered a Team Leader job here at Axcis, this company is a pleasure to work for. The company truly cares about finding the best SEND Teacher/Teaching Assistant for their clients, and really listens to what their candidates and clients want. The company really recognises every clients individual requirements and therefore always gets the perfect match! I really do love working here at Axcis.’’

Graham in Manchester


“I chose a role with Axcis because of the family feel to the organisation and focus on SEND which is an area that I have a lot of experience and interest in, their partnerships in the sector and quality of branding. I chose the role for a company that focused on outcomes rather than KPIs and a flexible approach. There was a clear strive to succeed and be the best in SEND and had big ambitions. I also chose the role as I had the opportunity to start from scratch after building a large desk over 5 years, with all the challenges that go with that.


There is still a great family feel at Axcis and it’s positive that processes are always being looked at for improvement. Manchester is a fairly new office still in the grand scheme of things when considering other big players have been in the Manchester market for 20 years and taking in to account the yearly cycles of the education recruitment market so it’s really nice to be part of a smaller office that has lots of potential to grow in to a big successful office and to be at the start of that happening with a solid team and foundation.”

Would you be interested in a recruitment role with Axcis?

If Axcis sounds like the sort of place you’d like to work, why not send us your CV or check out our internal jobs page today to find out more?


Candidate of the term – nominations now open

Do you have an Axcis contractor who is doing a great job this term? Do you want to nominate them for an award? Find out what’s on offer and how to nominate them here.

At Axcis, we are extremely proud of the fantastic work our SEND teachers and support staff do every day in the classroom. We know that being a supply worker isn’t easy; often you are thrown in the deep end with challenging classes and little time to read up on school policy or procedure and your work could end at any given moment. And yet, we hear so much fantastic feedback about our candidates that we feel it is only right to give a bit of recognition where we can. Read on to find out how to nominate your favourite Axcis contractor for our Summer 2018 award.

What are we looking for?

We want to hear from you if you have an Axcis contractor who you feel has done a fantastic job, or who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. We know that it’s not just classroom practice that makes for a good supply worker – it’s also reliability, punctuality and willingness to step out of their usual role and take on things like school productions, trips and other extra-curricular work. Or perhaps they’ve helped to support other members of the team, made awesome strides forward with the children they work with and helped to affect positive change in the school they’ve been placed in. Whatever your reason, we are open to hearing about it!

How do I nominate?

Simply email if you have an Axcis contractor you’d like to nominate for an award, or contact your consultant. We have three £50 shopping vouchers to give out to our winners – intended for them to treat themselves to something nice! The deadline for entries is Friday 29th June, with winners to be announced a few days later. When you contact us, you’ll need to state the name of the contractor, along with the name of the school they are working in. We’d also like a short statement on why they should be considered for the award – it doesn’t need to be an essay – just a sentence or two. All nominees will receive a certificate of appreciation, so even if your Axcis contractor doesn’t win, don’t worry – they’ll still know they are appreciated, and this is what it’s all about, after all!

Don’t delay – do it today!

So, if you have staff from Axcis and would like them to be recognised for the fantastic work they are doing, don’t put it off – drop us an email now and we will make sure they are in the running to be considered for an award. We know you value their hard work, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to make sure they know too.

Axcis June Giveaway: Teaching Mindfulness in Schools (resource pack)

Do you want to encourage your pupils to be mindful? If the answer is yes, then why not take a moment to enter the FREE Axcis June giveaway for a chance to win “Teaching Mindfulness for Schools: Stories and Exercises for All Abilities”.

About this fantastic resource pack

Win this fantastic resource pack in the Axcis December Giveaway

Win this fantastic resource pack in the Axcis June Giveaway

You might have seen a previous article on our blog which talked about how to Establish a calm classroom in 5 simple steps: Mindfulness for Schools. Now you can add to your mindful toolkit with this fantastic resource pack.


Teaching Mindfulness in Schools is a practical teaching toolkit for educators and all professionals concerned with the social and emotional wellbeing of children. The book offers clear introductions to the many aspects and benefits of mindfulness for young people, as well as a wealth of practical guidance and tools to support the teaching of mindfulness in the classroom. Key features include:


  • a range of stimulus materials including artwork and poems to read one-on-one with a child or for whole-class teaching;
  • lesson plans, worksheets and colouring sheets to support a huge range of activity types including physical, creative and sensory exercises so that there is material to suit all the children you work with;
  • audio recordings of guided mindfulness exercises for use in the classroom, narrated by the author and available to purchasers via the Speechmark website.

How to enter the Axcis Giveaway

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning this great prize, why not enter our giveaway? all you need to do is follow THIS LINK and select how you’d like to enter. It takes just a few seconds and is entirely FREE of charge. So why not take a peek now and get yourself entered into this month’s Axcis Giveaway?

Register today and work for Axcis

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area, so if you need work, why not register now?


Terms and Conditions are applicable to all giveaway entrants.

Children with high functioning autism in SEMH settings. Are they failing at education or is education failing them? (Guest post)

An SEMH school leader, Graham Chatterley has become a regular guest-blogger for Axcis. In this post, he discusses the suitability of an SEMH setting for students with high functioning autism, and what mainstream settings can do to better support children on the spectrum.


The range of needs that we work with in SEMH is vast, and on the whole the children are in the right place and we are the best option to meet their needs. Smaller classes, more staff time, more individualised learning and more understanding of how to get the best out of the children, is what they need and on the whole our children make enormous progress. Unfortunately during our process of looking beyond the behaviour and focussing on the child, there are times when the lower level behaviours have to be ignored. We cannot tackle every swear word and every piece of aggression in a punitive way because that is the approach that failed them and why they ended up in the SEMH setting in the first place. So we have to be different and we have to approach the children’s learning in a different way.


Balance is important but it is the different approach and looking at the reason they are being aggressive or abusive that allows us to build relationships. It is far easier to row with somebody who rows back and gives them something to ‘fuel the fire’ . It is much harder to continue an argument with someone who won’t take you on, in the end you feel silly or just give up.


Children who have anger which comes from trauma, or rejection, or frustration at a learning difficulty are rightly placed with us and we can teach them to manage that anger, re-build self-esteem and make them better prepared for society. These are children who come to us filled with negative emotions which no school could have been prepared or equipped for. They were already exhibiting abusive language, aggression and violence long before they changed setting. They need a setting like ours and the alternative things we can offer. Often in these intense situations, we are not even dealing with the child themselves, but rather a fear and emotional defence mechanism they have created in order to survive the life experiences they have had. By seeing through this, not engaging with it and allowing the child to come through it we can teach them self-control.


For so many children (like our majority) who have experienced attachment trauma in one form or another and are overpowered by their emotions, we are equipped to manage them well. However, there are still children coming to us who are portrayed on paper as angry and aggressive who in reality are nothing like that. The reason they are angry and aggressive does not come from home. It is not an emotional defence mechanism created to survive because of abuse or neglect or rejection. It is because their mainstream school hasn’t taken the time to understand them and their different needs. They haven’t noticed that their way of learning is different – because their autistic needs aren’t obvious they are misunderstood and the following pattern often emerges:


  • Due to the fact they are intelligent, when the child with autism has said they don’t understand something they are dismissed as work-avoiding.
  • When they have pursued an explanation they may have been seen as difficult.
  • When they haven’t received the explanation they will want to know why.
  • They will then have been told they are behaving incorrectly.
  • They don’t want anyone to think badly of them and want to explain themselves because being ‘naughty’ was never their intention.
  • They get accused of answering back.
  • When they challenge this they are told they are being defiant.


Put yourself in this child’s shoes, would you not be frustrated? Would you not be angry? Is it not possible that could bubble over into aggression? What if this happens every day?


I’m sure many of us have been in a position where we couldn’t get a point across, get people to listen to us and felt like we were speaking a foreign language. This is how many children with high functioning autism often feel in mainstream school and sometimes that frustration boils over. The decision then is what do we do with them – the options are:


  • Recognise the child’s needs and adapt our practice to suit, try hard to understand their differences and how they learn. Help them understand themselves, why they find situations difficult and offer a safe place. Thereby allowing them to achieve in a mainstream setting.
  • Identify their autistic needs, explain the process to them and the reasons for it so they don’t feel rejected and a failure. Then find them a mainstream or specialist setting better equipped to meet their needs and allow them to thrive.
  • See a defiant, naughty child who is difficult and focus on the behaviour not the individual. Explain nothing to them, reject them and leave them thinking there is something wrong with them. At which point the child is often identified as too high ability for an SLD or MLD setting and as a result is sent to an SEMH setting.


What is best for the child?

‘I wish I had known sooner why I was different to everyone else, it would have helped me so much’

I’m not saying that we don’t have success with children with autism. We have had many come through and be very successful. We look way beyond the behaviours, allow them to understand why they find situations challenging, improve

Graham Chatterley is a leader at an SEMH setting and has children with SEND at home. We thank him for this insightful guest post.

social skills and most importantly get them to understand why they are different. If I had a £1 for every time a child gets to the end of their time with us or comes back as an adult and says ‘I wish I had known sooner why I was different to everyone else, it would have helped me so much’ I could retire now. We can help them to understand why people won’t always ‘get them’ and how to be themselves successfully in society. These are the priorities for these children – the academic stuff will take care of itself with an adaptive way of explaining. We can signpost them towards a career with an employer who will cherish their differences and see the potential. Sadly, this won’t happen if self-esteem is so low and anxiety so high they are scared to put themselves out there. However, there is no reason why mainstream settings can’t do these things. The problem for children with autism lies in the fact they will fit in even less around the children in an SEMH setting and they will pick up behaviour they would not have previously had – like bad language for example, because it is hard for them to distinguish what is correct and normal behaviour. Their ideal learning environment is one with reduced stimulus which is hard to offer them when they are surrounded by children in crisis. In reality, so many high functioning autistic children do not need an SEMH setting, they probably don’t even need an alternative curriculum, extra academic support, mentoring or smaller class sizes. They simply need somebody to take the time to understand them and the fact that their brain works a little differently.

How can teachers help to support autistic children more effectively?

  • If the child says they don’t understand then it’s because there is something they don’t understand. It may not be an obvious thing but be willing to explain it differently
  • Don’t ask them to move on! Don’t tell them it doesn’t matter! For a child with Autism this is impossible. Problems have to be solved and unless they are, there will be no moving on and the child will become more and more frustrated – and frustration can lead to aggression.
  • Don’t assume! Just because something doesn’t bother us or appears minor does not mean it’s nothing to them. Noises, textures and smells can be big things – and for a child with autism a scratching sound which seems negligent to us can feel like an alarm going off. Simply being aware of this and reducing exposure may be all that is required.


If we can make these concessions and become more aware of high functioning autistic children and the behaviours they may exhibit, then we can better support them. These children and young people can then manage successfully in mainstream settings and never need to feel that they are a failure or that they don’t fit in and need to be sent to an alternative provision.


Graham Chatterley

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.