Victoria Milner

Thesis title:

An Exploration of Autistic Pupils’ Schooling Experience


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) encompasses a range of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social interaction and communication difficulties and restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours. It is thought that ASD affects 1 in 100 individuals.

Currently, education is the main intervention that autistic individuals receive to help them function within a neurotypical society, yet 40% of parents believe their child is not in a school that would best support them and less than 50% of autistic students report happiness at school. Additionally, there are high associated costs to gaining appropriate educational support, and very mixed outcomes; only 15% of autistic adults are in full time employment, for example.

This PhD thesis investigates autistic pupils’ experiences in education through a range of approaches. The broad aim of this PhD project is to explore the social (e.g. friendships), environmental (e.g. family circumstances), behavioural (e.g. autistic traits) and biological (e.g. IQ) factors that interplay and impact educational routes, including factors weighed in decision-making, challenges faced in obtaining a suitable school placement, and the overall experience of schooling.

It is hoped that this project will improve current practices, contributing to a fairer, more efficient, and effective process to provide the right educational opportunities to every child on the autism spectrum.

Social media:

Twitter – @vic_milner
LinkedIn –

First supervisor:

Francesca Happe

CASE partner:

The National Association of Head Teachers


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health