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Children’s Minister Sarah Teather MP visited Ambitious about Autism today to speak to parents whose children attend its flagship service TreeHouse School about special educational needs. The minister toured the charity and the school and took part in a roundtable discussion with parents about the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Green Paper, which outlines and the Government’s plans for reform.
A burning issue for parents who met the minister was whether Government was planning to extend the legal right to an education up to the age of 25. As parents of older children with autism, many face an uncertain future not knowing where their child will go once they have finished school. Ambitious about Autism’s current campaign, Finished at School, calls for the legal right to be extended to the age of 25.
Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Children’s Minister to Ambitious about Autism and TreeHouse School to meet parents and discuss special educational needs. It shows the minister’s commitment to improving services for children with autism and their families. We know many families still struggle to get the right support for their children and have high expectations that the Green Paper reforms will change this for the better.
We hope our multi-disciplinary service illustrates how well health and education professionals can work together to support children and young people with autism, and that our vocational pathways show it is possible for even those with complex needs to learn about preparing for work.”