A free online resource developed to support the inclusion of autistic learners in Scottish Early Learning and Childcare settings, Primary and Secondary schools.

Effective Partnerships and Communication

Effective communication, respect and collaborative partnership working between schools and families are key requirements. They are essential in supporting appropriate and effective learning and teaching. Practitioners must recognise and sensitively respect the experiences of autistic learners and their families who will naturally have queries and concerns during their educational journey.  


A positive partnership, with mutual respect between the teacher/practitioner and parent/carer, is essential to achieve progression in the autistic learner’s life and learning.  It is important for everyone in the partnership to recognise that social and emotional development and skills for resilience in life are equally as important as academic learning.

‘Parents… have unique knowledge and experience to contribute to understanding and meeting their child's additional support needs……Professionals need to involve parents and take account of their views on their child's development and education at the earliest opportunity. Partnership with parents is, therefore, central to ensuring that children and young people with additional support needs benefit fully from school education.'

Supporting Children‘s Learning Code of Practice (Revised edition) The Scottish Government, 2017

For partnership working to be at its most effective, collaboration is essential; between parents, between professionals and between parents and professionals. It is also important to include the learner when appropriate as they are entitled to have their views considered and heard.

At all times, good communication will keep parents and staff informed in a 2-way exchange to support their unique autistic child/learner. 

This image reflects the different partners working together to support the learner at the centre

Effective partnerships and communication can: 

  • Enhance learning and emotional well-being 
  • Help to progress individual targets 
  • Transfer learning when families are partners in learning and the learning is shared with them  
  • Help prepare for changes and transitions 
  • Provide alternative ideas, strategies and information 
  • Support whole school awareness projects 
  • Plan for homework (adapted where appropriate) 
  • Support pupil involvement in school events or outings (arrangements for what is possible or alternatives) 
  • Support independence and preparation for adult life.