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New education campaign ‘Held Back’ launched

The education system is still failing to meet the needs of autistic children according to a new report launched today by the All Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA) alongside the National Autistic Society. An eight month-long inquiry informs the report which includes surveys of over 3,000 parents, carers, young people and teachers and expert witness evidence accounts which took place in Parliament. The surveys revealed:
 
50% of parents wait more than a year for the right education support for their autistic children
Over 50% of autistic children and young people who responded are not happy at school
Less than 50% of teachers who responded are confident about supporting a child on the autism spectrum 
42% of parents say their child was refused an assessment of their special educational needs the first time it was requested.
 
These findings come three years after the Government introduced a new special educational needs and disability (SEND) system in England, promising to make it easier for children and their families to get support
 
Following the concerning findings of the report, today the National Autistic Society has launched the education campaign, ‘Held Back’ in partnership with Ambitious about Autism and is calling on supporters to sign an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening MP. 
 
Mark Lever, Chief Executive at the National Autistic Society, said:
 
“Autistic children and young people in England are being let down and held back by the education system and this is putting an unnecessary strain on often already vulnerable families. The Government must make sure councils are following the law and hold failing local areas to account. Additionally, the Government must develop a national autism and education strategy to make sure that the right type of school and support is available near where you live as standard, not because of luck and make sure the education system as a whole understands autism. By signing our open letter to Justine Greening MP, you will be supporting the 120,000 school-aged children on the autism spectrum in England who deserve the right to an education, just like everyone else.”
 
Make sure no child is held back, because they're autistic. Sign our open letter
 
We would like to thank Axcis for their support for the inquiry.