What's the problem?
Our recent research proved that as many as 20% of children with autism have been formally excluded from education in the past 12 months.
That means that one in five children aren’t getting the education that every child should be entitled to. We’re campaigning to make sure that no child is ruled out because they have autism.
At the moment, children with autism are disproportionately affected by both formal and informal school exclusion. Formal exclusion is when a child is not allowed in school for a set amount of time, usually because the school believes they have breached the behaviour code.
An informal exclusion - which affected 40% of children in a 12-month period - is when a child is sent off the school premises for a short period of time. This might be over lunch time or the child might be sent home to 'cool off'.
Either way, informal exclusion is illegal because it is typically not recorded by the school. It's unlawful - even if the parent gives consent and agrees to collect their child.
For many families, the root cause of exclusion is the difficulty in finding a school that can meet their child’s needs. All too often, this results in things like their children being put on part-time timetables, excluded or not able to access the curriculum they are entitled to. In short, they miss out on education.
What needs to happen?
We've made a series of recommendations for schools and local authorities to make sure children with autism get the same access to school as all other children.
We are campaigning to make sure that:
Every family of a child with autism knows their rights, and has the resources to help their child get the support they are entitled to at school
Every school has access to an autism specialist teacher, to build capacity among schools staff and to support children with autism to learn and achieve
Every local authority sets out in its local offer the support available in its area to ensure children with autism have access to quality full-time education