'Four in 10' autistic children informally excluded from school
Some 40% of autistic children have been informally sent out of the classroom on a temporary basis, according to a mental health charity. Research from Ambitious About Autism found four in 10 autistic children were illegally forced to miss school.
All councils must ensure children are educated in a placement which meets their needs, and we have been clear that schools have a duty to follow our strict rules when excluding pupils.
We are spending over £3.5 million on Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators in schools to provide targeted support to children with SEN, and have given the National Autistic Society £440,000 to provide advice to parents and teachers about how to support autistic children at school.
Researchers from the charity spoke to 500 families, 1000 school staff and local councils to find how many autistic children were being excluded from school.
It found that four in 10 children with autism have been informally excluded from school temporarily - an illegal practice.
Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: "All schools are legally bound to provide quality full-time education to all pupils, including children with autism.
"Asking parents to collect their children early or putting them on part-time hours is against the law and fails to address the underlying need for schools to make reasonable adjustments to include children with autism."