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18 June 2012

Specific autism support should be provided in every school, says new report

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA) has published its report on special educational needs (SEN). 'The right start: reforming the system for children with autism' calls for autism specific support to be provided in every school.

The report follows the APPGA’s public survey and oral evidence sessions earlier this year, which Ambitious about Autism’s Youth Patron Josie Ryan and Trustee Jonathan Meth spoke at, and echoes many of Finished at School’s recommendations.

Ambitious about Autism is a member of the APPGA advisory group and supported the drafting of the report. The report recommends:

  • A lead teacher for autism in every school with relevant knowledge and training
  • An action plan for every child with autism (including those without statements/Education, Health and Care plans)
  • A guarantee of support up to the age of 25 so that a young person with special educational needs (SEN) can become independent adults

Robert Buckland MP, Chair of the APPGA, said: “A transformation of the SEN system is vital if we are to ensure that people with autism have the same life opportunities as everyone else, namely the ability to contribute to society, to enter the workplace and to realise their aspirations. We cannot afford to shirk the challenge.”

Kate Williams, Head of Policy at Ambitious about Autism, said: “We welcome this report as a sign from MPs of all parties that they are keen to get the best out of the SEN reforms for children and young people with autism. Their recommendation that government must provide a guarantee of support for young people with autism right up to the age of 25 is particularly helpful, and echoes the key call of our Finished at School campaign. We hope Ministers respond positively to all the recommendations, so that young people with autism get the education they need to thrive.”

For more information or a copy of the report, please contact Andrew Willard by emailing andrew.willard@nas.org.uk or call 020 7903 3545.

Download a copy of the report from the APPGA website.

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