Coronavirus update

Important information:
All on-campus visits and events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Virtual events will be running as normal unless otherwise stated.  For the latest updates visit our coronavirus information page. Please note that some of our on campus events may be replaced by virtual events - please check with the event organiser listed against each event.

Autism education: Assessing progress towards meaningful targets

Poynting Building (R13 on the Edgbaston Campus map), Large Lecture Theatre, Room S02
Friday 9 September 2011 (09:00-16:30)

In case of any queries, please contact Joseph McCleery
Telephone: 0121 414 9775

Disabilities: If you have a disability or any other specific requirements please email Joseph McCleery

The University of Birmingham is pleased to be hosting a conference on autism and education. The conference will include experts from the UK and the USA who will present some of the latest developments in education research and practice. The particular theme of this conference will be to showcase and discuss some of the critical ways in which children with autism can be assessed in school settings and how these assessments of progress can be related to meaningful targets, particularly for adult life.

The conference programme has been designed to be of interest and value to a range of groups. We will have testimonials from adults with autism who have been schooled in the UK; some of the latest developments in research will be presented; descriptions of best practice in assessing children and young people with autism will be given; and a large group discussion will be held on how different stakeholder groups can work together to provide improvements in education for children and young people with autism so they can achieve their full potential.

The conference is open to all and we particularly encourage participation from people with autism, parents, professionals and researchers in the fields of education and/or early intervention.


Parents, people on the autism spectrum, staff and students - £20.00
Professionals - £35.00
Registration is available on-site on the day of the event for a £15.00 additional charge.


See the final programme (PDF - 432KB)

Keynote Speakers

Aubyn Stahmer

Aubyn Stahmer , Ph.D., is a research scientist at UC San Diego and Rady Children's Hospital. She serves as the research and clinical coordinator of the Autism Discovery Institute which provides comprehensive clinical services and integrated research programming for children with autism and their families. She has published many scholarly articles on inclusion, education and early intervention services in the area of autism. At UCSD she serves as associate director of the treatment core of the Autism Center for Excellence award. She is the principal investigator on a grant from the Department of Education designed to examine methods of translating Pivotal Response Training into classrooms. Her current interests include the study of early intervention systems for children with autism, and the translation of evidence-based practices into community settings.

Jude Ragan

Jude Ragan OBE is Headteacher at Queensmill School. Jude trained and qualified as a teacher of children with special needs in 1972, and from that point has worked in the field of autism, either as a teacher, a manager or as an inspector with Ofsted. She has been headteacher of four special schools, all of which catered for students with autism. Her present school, Queensmill in Hammersmith and Fulham, caters for children and young people with autism from the ages of 2 - 19. It has been judged to be outstanding in the last two Ofsted inspections. Additionally, Jude is helping set up autism units in local mainstream schools. Queensmill will move into a new purpose-built school in 2012, demonstrating the borough's commitment to the education of students with autism.

John Simpson

John Simpson was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder aged 16, following a period of psychiatric illness, and an unhappy secondary school experience. He has since made a successful recovery, having found work as a part time support worker in a care home for autistic adults and also by presenting to groups about his life. He uses both his life experience and the understanding gained from his job to help parents and professionals better understand the individuals they work with. He is now a member of the National Autism Programme Board, which advises the government on delivery of the new Adult Autism Strategy and other autism matters.

Sir Christopher Ball is Vice-Chairman of Autistica and Patron of Research Autism.  He was Warden of Keble College, Oxford, Director of Learning at the RSA and Chancellor of the University of Derby, and is now a patron of the National Campaign for Learning, chairman of Downsed International and author of ‘Start Right: The Importance of Early Learning’ (1995), among many other things.  Following a long career in Oxford University, public life and consultancy, his current interests include ‘early learning’, core skills, disability, brain science, motivation and self-esteem.  He is married, with six (adult) children (one on the autistic spectrum), and eight grandchildren.

Other speakers

  • Ms Emily Rubin, Director of Communication Crossroads
  • Dr Glenys Jones, University of Birmingham
  • Ms Julia Biere, Pyramid UK's Clinical Director
  • Dr Joe McCleery, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer, University of Birmingham


To register for this event please visit the Autism Conference registration page.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities