Children with autism are illegally excluded from school activities study finds

A report by a charity has found that over 20,000 children could be affected by informal, temporary exclusions

Four in 10 children with autism have been temporarily excluded from school activities, it has been revealed.

The temporary informal exclusions are illegal, and as around 70,785 children in the UK have autism, more than 28,000 children may be affected, a report by the Ambitious about Autism charity predicts.

Their Research shows that many children with the condition are missing out on education because schools do not have the knowledge and skills to properly support them.

The exclusions involved children attending lessons on a part time basis, missing out on school trips and activities, and being asked to stay at home.

It urges that statutory guidance should be introduced that would see schools notifying the local authority of part-time schooling arrangements for children with special needs, as well as their plans to help children return to full-time education.

500 families and 1,000 school staff were surveyed for the report, the results of which was put with information collected from local councils.

Around a fifth of the parents who took part in the survey said that their child with autism had been formally excluded in the last year, while more than half said that they have kept their son or daughter out of school because they were concerned that the school was unable to provide the right support.

Read more: New insights into the mystery of autism: Could it be caused at birth by salt in the nerves?

Researchers also found that 40 per cent of parents had been asked to collect their children from school at an unscheduled time, while 30 per cent said they had been asked not to bring their children into school.

The charity argues that while schools do have a legal right to formally exclude a child, this should be a last resort, and plans should be put in place to ensure the pupil is receiving an education.

The report notes that while over seven in 10 of autistic children are in mainstream schools, around 60% of teachers in England say they do not feel they have had enough training to teach pupils with the condition.

Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, called the results "shocking".

“All schools are legally bound to provide quality full-time education to all pupils, including children with autism," she said.

She added: “We know schools can and do support children with autism to learn, thrive and achieve. All schools need to build their capacity to support children with autism and not use exclusions as a way of managing their special needs.”

The report was published as part of Ambitious about Autism's Ruled Out campaign, which is calling for every school to have access to a specialist autism teacher and to ensure that families with children that have the condition know their rights.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “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."

Additional reporting by Press Association

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
booksNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015