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Our response to the Autumn Statement
Thursday 17 November 2022

Our response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

In today’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the budget for schools will be increasing by £2.3bn next year and £2.3bn the year after. It was also announced that working age benefits will rise in line with inflation. 

Responding to these announcements, Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:

“The chancellor said today that supporting young people’s education is a ‘moral mission’, but unless we fix the problems in the special educational needs system, we will write off the futures of autistic children and young people.  

“These young people and their families tell us they have been pushed to breaking point by a SEND system that isn't working. As more autistic pupils enter the education system, it’s essential that funding keeps pace, so they don’t miss out on crucial classroom support. 

“SEND budgets have been under enormous pressure for years. As schools continue to face rising energy bills and salary costs, we first need to hear the detail behind today’s announcement to see if support for autistic children will be protected or not.   

“We must not forget this comes at a time when many families also fear that their access to assessments, support and school places for their children could be under threat through the government’s SEND review.

“While many families of autistic young people will breathe a sigh of relief that benefits are rising with inflation, we must not forget their ongoing struggle to cover the cost of vital support needs during this cost-of-living crisis.

“We urgently need decision-makers to listen to the concerns of autistic young people and their families and reassure them that their current rights and access to funding will be protected.”