Previous studies have shown that ethnic background hinders clinician detection of autistic features in children from non-western minority groups. The use of a structured instrument during evaluation of these children can reduce the risk of hindered detection. The aims of the current studies were to establish the extent of school-based professionals' involvement in detecting autism and to replicate earlier findings of autism detection amongst school mentors. Results showed that school-based professionals were reported to be the first to suspect autistic features in 20% of children later diagnosed with autism. Additionally, school-based professionals refer to autism more often when judging children from majority than children from minority groups. However, using a structured instrument did not eliminate this bias. Providing these professionals with culture-sensitive education may help maximise their involvement in detecting autism amongst children from all ethnic backgrounds.