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National Autistic Society intervenes in school exclusions case

The National Autistic Society is intervening in a legal case brought by the parents of a autistic boy, known as ‘L’, who was excluded from school because of his behaviour. However, that behaviour was linked to L being autistic.

Our charity intervened in this case because we believe there is a loophole in the law that means schools don’t have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled children when they have a “tendency to physical abuse”, even when that behaviour is down to a lack of appropriate support. This important legal case challenges that loophole, and the Secretary of State for Education has also been included. We hope that by being involved, we can help change the law so that autistic children get the support they need in school.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “Children should only ever be excluded from school as a last resort, when every other possible solution has been tried. Government statistics show that autistic children in England are three times more likely to be excluded than children without special educational needs".

The case began yesterday and continues today in the Upper Tribunal in London, although the verdict may not be known for several weeks. The National Autistic Society is being represented by Clifford Chance LLP and Nick Armstrong from Matrix Chambers.

Find out more in this blog where Catriona Moore, our Education Policy Officer, explains why the National Autistic Society has intervened in the case in support of the family, and why the outcome of this case could have significant implications for children on the autism spectrum and their families. Catriona is our Education Policy Officer.

Date added: 4 July 2018