Julie Prentice

Julie Prentice

Senior Lecturer in Education with Specialism in Special Educational Needs, Disabilities and Inclusion

Education and Inclusion

Contact Details

email: j.prentice@worc.ac.uk

Julie recently joined the University of Worcester. She has worked in higher education since 2011, teaching primarily on BA and MA level special educational needs and inclusion programmes. Julie has just completed a PhD Education and will graduate in the Summer of 2022. Her thesis has explored how children and young people with autism are told about and supported to understand an autism diagnosis.

Julie has a background in teaching in both mainstream and special school settings and has been a school SEN coordinator. Julie has taught children across the primary age range within mainstream and special education settings. She has also taught within secondary education. Within special education, Julie has taught children with a range of complex and additional educational needs including children with speech, language and social communication needs, physical and sensory needs, autism and social, emotional and mental health needs.

She has also worked in a specialist advisory capacity within 3 different local authorities. While working as an advisory teacher, Julie provided specialist advice related to the provision, teaching, and learning needs of children and young people with autism. She also delivered training programmes for parents of children with autism and provided professional development training for schoolteachers and other local authority staff.  

In her previous role in higher education, Julie worked with colleagues to develop the BA Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Programme and she was Programme Director for the MA Special Needs and Inclusion. Julie has also led on the delivery of autism short courses that were commissioned at the local authority and school level to support CPD.

Julie’s most recent role with a local authority involved a project to review the local area provision for children on the autism spectrum, with a focus on children and young people that schools were not managing to include successfully. This involved researching to local offer against best practice and culminated in provision of evidence-based recommendations to improve practice across the authority. Julie also undertook casework focussed on finding a successful way back into education for children and young people with complex needs who were either not in education or who were at risk of exclusion.

Within a local authority role, Julie has also coordinated the continuing professional development programme for autism across the county. She has also delivered the Autism Education Trust (AET) Schools’ programme and their Post 16 training programme. She was also commissioned by the National Autistic to deliver the AET Schools’ Programme in the Southeast. Julie is currently working with the Autism Education Trust and St Mary’s at Twickenham to explore how the AET Schools’ Programme could be incorporated into initial teacher education.

Julie’s MA research explored how primary school children with autism can be supported to understand and to manage their emotions and to reduce anxiety. Julie has also developed a range of programmes to support children and young people with autism, including programmes to support transition, a programme about issues related to peer pressure for adolescents, and a programme to help children and young people to understand their autism diagnosis. Julie has also developed a training programme for parents with children who were diagnosed with autism as adolescents and regularly delivered the National Autistic Society, EarlyBird and EarlyBird Plus training programmes for parents.


  • Senior Fellowship with Higher Education Authority: Advance-HE
  • Master of Education, with Distinction-Special Education: Autism (Children); University of Birmingham
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research in Education; University of Birmingham
  • Graduate Conversion Diploma in Psychology; University of Teesside
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Studies in Education; University of Teesside
  • BA (Hons.) Education; University of Durham, St Cuthbert’s Society.

Teaching and Research

  • Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion
  • Autism
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Collaborative practice
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities

Julie is currently undertaking a research PhD. The research aims to explore the views of young people with regards to the help they receive to aid understanding of their autism diagnosis.

She has previously undertaken research related to developing cognitive approaches to support the development of emotional understanding and emotional management of children and young people with autism.

While working with a local authority, she also developed a post autism diagnosis training programme for parents of children diagnosed with autism in late childhood and adolescence and carried out research into the impact of the programme

Professional Bodies

Senior Fellowship with Higher Education Authority: Advance-HE


Prentice, J. (2020) ‘Children and young people’s views and experiences of an autism diagnosis: what do we know?’ Good Autism Practice, 21 (2), pp.52-65. Available at: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/bild/gap/2020/00000021/00000002/art00006

Julie has also presented papers at the University of Birmingham, Education Doctoral Research Conference in 2013; 2016 & 2019.

Prentice, J. (2019) How can educators and parents support children to understand an autism diagnosis positively?  Paper presented at The 18th annual School of Education Doctoral Research Conference: Saturday 30th November 2019. School of Education. University of Birmingham. Abstract to be made available: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/education/postgraduate-research/doctoral-research-conference.aspx

Prentice, J. (2017) ‘Autism diagnosis and impact: in their own words’, in H. Henderson, A. Penannt and M. Hand Papers from the Education Doctoral Research Conference: Saturday 26 November 2016. School of Education. University of Birmingham. ISBN 9780704428669: pp. 117-125. Available at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/education/postgraduate-research/doctoral-research-conference.aspx

Prentice, J. (2014) ‘Autism diagnosis and impact: A work in progress’, in R. Barrie, B. Morris, T. Perry and M. Hand Papers from the Education Doctoral Research Conference: Saturday 16 November 2013. School of Education. University of Birmingham. ISBN: 9780704428145: pp. 116-124.

External Roles

Local Authority Governor at Red Hill C of E Primary School Worcester - Term of Office: 22/09/2021 to 21/09/2025