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Oakwood School & Assessment Centre, Belfast

Mainstream Schools

Guidelines for Mainstream Schools

What can the school expect from the Oakwood Advisory Service

The role of the Oakwood Advisory Service is to assess the child’s needs in relation to ASD.  They should provide advice to the school on appropriate strategies and interventions and where appropriate a detailed assessment that will assist the school in developing education plans and teaching programmes.  After this the team may maintain a watching brief with follow up advice.

Any issue in relation to the Oakwood Advisory Service or staffing should be addressed directly to the Coordinator of the Service.

Initial Visit

A member of the Oakwood Advisory Team will contact the school and plan an initial consultation date.  This arrangement will provide an opportunity to observe the child and speak to staff.


At the end of the assessment period a written report regarding the child’s areas of strength and weakness, teaching strategies and specific programmes will be provided. 

Classroom assistants appointed by schools to work with children with ASD will be expected to attend continuing in service training organised by the Oakwood ASD Advisory Team.


The nature of intervention will depend on the child’s needs, but this may include:

  • General advice
  • Detailed additional assessment
  • Individual advice and programmes

It is not the role of the Service to teach the child.  The role is to support the class teacher and special needs staff in structuring lessons and suitable activities.  Advice and examples of resources may also be provided and modelled.  Where materials are prepared the mainstream school should provide access to photocopying and materials to assist this.