Steve supports the National Autism Society’s campaign to improve special educational needs system for children with autism.

Steve recently attended the parliamentary launch of The National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Great Expe

The launch, held in Parliament, heard from Jane Asher, President of the NAS, who spoke about the challenges faced by parents of children with autism in getting even basic educational support. Steve attended the launch and joined children with autism, parents, carers and principals and other professionals from NAS autism-specific schools.

 

Steve said:

 

“The National Autism Society’s Great Expectations report provides a strong foundation on which to build a robust SEN system. Children with autism have a right to services which are both local to them and that are appropriate to their needs.”

 

“It is only right that an organisation which provides such fantastic local and national support to parents should be leading the way for these reforms. The report provides the Government with valuable suggestions, and they would be prudent to follow that advice.”

 

The Great Expectations campaign follows research the NAS conducted with over 1,000 parents of children with autism and young people with autism about their experiences of the education system and how they feel it can be improved to work best from them. Education is a fundamental part of every child’s life, but the survey found far too many children with autism are not getting the education they need and deserve.

 

Just half of parents in the survey (52%) feel their child is making good educational progress. 30% of parents feel that their child’s educational placement is not adequate. A quarter of children are not happy at school, and one in five does not feel safe. 43% of young people feel teachers don’t know enough about autism. Furthermore, too many parents have to fight the system to make it work. 

 

7 out of 10 parents say it has not been easy to get the educational support their child needs.

 

47% of parents say their child’s special educational needs were not picked up in a timely way.

 

48% of parents say they have waited over a year to get the right support for their child.

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