Young people with autism are being failed by Scottish schools, with children and young people with additional needs unlawfully excluded from education and not offered adequate support, according to a new report.
Research published by leading autism advocates shows that more than a third (34 percent) of parents claim their autistic child has been unlawfully excluded in the last two years. Almost a quarter (22 percent) say this has happened multiple times a week.
‘Unlawful’ exclusion – when a school sends a child home without using the formal exclusion process – not only stigmatises and upsets children with additional support needs (ASN), it is claimed, but means they miss out on their education, making it harder for them to achieve meet their academic potential.
The research – Not Included, Not Engaged, Not Involved – by Children in Scotland, the National Autistic Society Scotland and Scottish Autism includes a survey of 1,417 parents and carers of autistic children, and highlights that schools need a better understanding of how to support ASN pupils.
The survey found that 13 percent of autistic children had been formally excluded from school in the last two years and 85 percent had not been given adequate support to catch up on their work.
Parents told researchers their children – one as young as six – had been separated from peers and left alone all day because the school said he could not cope in the class.
Now the three charities are calling for Scottish Government to work with local education authorities and education professionals to address the barriers to autistic children accessing their education.