At the Festival of Social Science event on November 9th 2017 at Totton College, the ACoRNS team revealed the next major step in our plan to prioritise and gather the views and experiences of children and young people with autism, and families and teachers, about education – our fabulous ACoRNS Listening Pod!

With the considerable efforts and generosity of Mark Fry from New Forest School, and Leisa Quigley, formerly of Totton College (both pictured below), as well as Derek Headrige (formerly of Totton College) the Pod made its first appearance at the  event.

Our aim is to develop our unique ACoRNS Listening Pod so that it can be transported easily to different schools.  We hope to provide a space that will enable children and families to share their experiences and that makes it clear that their views are welcome and prioritised.

We want to be able to gain a wide picture of views and experiences will inform local policies and practices regarding educational provision and support for autistic children and their families. First, we want to develop the inside of the pod, with the help of autistic students, families, teachers and other professionals, so that it contains a range of accessible and appropriate tools and materials, digital and non-digital, for capturing views.  We have already had some great ideas from you – thank you!

 

Then we plan to pilot the use of the pod initially with the ACoRNS partners and then more widely in schools in Southampton, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight to gather a range of views from across different stages of schooling and ages of children and young people. Our main focus will be on exploring and understanding the transitions and trajectories of those taking part. Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved!