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Anna Turley signs pledge to make education system better for children and young people with autism


Oct 24, 2016

MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has given her support to Ambitious about Autism’s four point pledge to improve the education system for children and young people with autism in Teesside so they don’t miss out at school.

Anna signed the pledge at the launch of Ambitious about Autism’s new report, when will we learn?.

The report looks at the impact of the education system when it fails children and young people with autism and their families. Many families are struggling to get the right support for their children and young people, who, as a result, are not receiving the education they are entitled to.

Anna has pledged to:

  • Ensure that the educational needs of children with autism are assessed promptly after diagnosis.
  • The needs of children with autism are met by having the right mix of services and support.
  • Ensure that everyone working in schools receives training to support children with autism so schools can offer them the very best education.
  • Ensure the rights of children with autism are respected by preventing illegal exclusions and supporting school governors to fulfil their legal responsibility to children with autism.

The findings of the when will we learn? report, which surveyed parents, carers and young people, revealed:

  • 8 in 10 children with autism find going to school so stressful that they experience anxiety and of those; 58% of children find this anxiety so debilitating that they miss days at school.
  • Children with autism are four times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than any other child.
  • 45% of the families surveyed said that their child had been illegally sent home from school, put on a reduced timetable, sent home early or asked not to come in to school when tests or school trips were happening, denying them a full education.
  • 71% of parents of children with autism say that getting them the right support in school was so stressful it caused them to lose sleep. 

Anna said:

“Children and young people with autism should get the education they are entitled to, without their families having to struggle.

“I’m supporting Ambitious about Autism’s When will we learn? campaign and I’m signing the pledge because I believe that all children deserve access to an education that helps them make the best of themselves and their futures.”

Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:

“Every child has a fundamental right to an education. Education is the key to transforming the lives of children and young people with autism and early intervention, education and support are critical if children and young people with autism are to lead fulfilling lives and make a positive contribution to society.

We look forward to working closely with government and decision makers to ensure our recommendations are met.”

A full copy of the when will we learn? report and details of how to support the campaign can be found www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/whenwillwelearn

By Emily