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***(UK) Across Scotland, charges ASD students "unlawfully excluded" for school

Feb 27, 2019, Scotsman: More must be done to guarantee a proper education for autistic youngsters – Nick Ward Right across Scotland, children are being unlawfully excluded from school and denied their right to an education because they are autistic. These children are being sent home and the formal exclusion process, which ensures that pupils receive support, an education and a smooth return to the classroom, is being ignored. Scottish Government guidance is clear that this shouldn’t happen. But it is happening, in every local authority area in Scotland. And the Scottish Government isn’t taking action to stop it. … This scandal was exposed in “Not Included, Not Engaged, Not Involved”, the report the National Autistic Society Scotland launched in September in partnership with Children in Scotland and Scottish Autism. We surveyed over 1,400 parents whose autistic children had missed school in the last two years, and found that more than a third had been unlawfully excluded – with almost a quarter saying this happened multiple times a week. … In my opinion, the most important recommendation made in our report is for high-quality training in autism to be mandatory for all teachers. This isn’t a criticism. As a former teacher, I know first-hand how tough it can be. However a massive 72 per cent of respondents to our Not Engaged survey felt that school staff having a better understanding of how their child’s autism affects them could have helped. Today the National Autistic Society Scotland, Children in Scotland and Scottish Autism are attending a round table session to discuss that recommendation. This is being hosted by Mr Swinney and attended by representatives of the General Teaching Council, Education Scotland, COSLA and the Educational Institute of Scotland, amongst others. All the key people will be round that table and I hope we can agree that autism training should be a requirement for all teachers. We know that all teachers will have autistic pupils in their classrooms throughout their careers and, to be blunt, I simply don’t understand how they can be expected to do their job without the right tools and training. It isn’t fair on teachers or pupils. …
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