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‘Game Changing’ recommendations for Inclusive Midwifery Education

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has developed a first-of-its-kind toolkit to help neurodivergent midwifery students to navigate undergraduate courses.


Developed alongside midwifery educators and neurodivergent midwifery students, the Neurodivergence Acceptance Toolkit is a set of comprehensive ‘must haves’ for midwifery education.


Designed for everyone involved in the planning and delivery of midwifery education, it works by providing a comprehensive checklist and set of best practice of considerations, placing neurodivergent students at the centre of midwifery education.


It looks at all areas of midwifery education and offers a set of recommendations to make sure courses are evaluated and adjusted for neurodivergent students.


“Our Neurodivergent Acceptance Toolkit will be a game-changer for midwifery educators and students alike,” said RCM Professional Advisor for Education, Ruby Handley-Stone.


“We’ve worked closely with neurodivergent students and those involved in the planning and teaching of midwifery education, to ensure the toolkit provides practical advice on inclusive education.


“It will make a huge difference to those students who require adjustments to succeed and make the profession far more inclusive. It will really support midwifery educators to provide the right support and importantly, it will encourage people from a range of backgrounds and neurominorities into the profession.


“This is vital as midwives also help mothers and families from a range of backgrounds and neurotypes. They deserve to be cared for by people who understand the challenges they face.”


The RCM believes many students with neurodivergent conditions are put off from training to become midwives because they fear the course doesn’t make allowances for their condition.


“When working in a diverse community of learners and professionals, it is not enough to build neurodivergence awareness, we need to start actioning concrete changes,” said Emilie Edwards, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at Middlesex University and part of the team that helped the RCM develop the toolkit. She also won an RCM award last year for her work to improve midwifery care for pregnant neurodivergent women.


“The toolkit was built with input from neurodivergent students, midwives and academics from across the UK, and should be a starting point for higher education institutes and midwifery practice areas to examine their programmes and the environment in which they welcome midwifery students.


“Although this is primarily aimed at the student community, many of the points raised can be extrapolated to qualified midwives and other healthcare professionals.”


The full Toolkit can be viewed at





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