Professional learning among specialist staff in resourced mainstream schools for pupils with ASD and SLI

Caroline Bond, Judith Hebron, Jeremy Oldfield

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    2 Citations (Scopus)
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    Supporting pupils with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in mainstream schools is a challenging task. This paper proposes a professional development framework for EPs to consider when supporting the development of specialist ASD staff. The framework focuses on training content, educator characteristics and organisational elements. Nine mainstream schools developing additional provision to support children with ASD and Specific Language Impairment (SLI) participated in the research. Specialist staff were provided with training and took part in follow up interviews about their developing practice. A pre-post questionnaire of participants (N = 30) attending the specialist training is supplemented with longitudinal interview data from specialist staff (N = 20). A paired sample t-test of questionnaire data showed that staff self-efficacy significantly increased pre to post training with a large effect size(0.61) and thematic analysis of interviews provided evidence of sustained professional development over time underpinned by supportive organisational factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)341-355
    JournalEducational Psychology in Practice
    Issue number4
    Early online date8 Jun 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


    • autism spectrum disorder
    • professional development
    • mainstream school
    • inclusion
    • school staff


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