Pupils: Autism

Department for Education written question – answered am ar 19 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure that children with autism are adequately supported at school.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

In the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision Improvement Plan, the department set out a vision to improve mainstream education by setting standards for the early and accurate identification of need and the timely provision of access to support. The standards will clarify the types of support that should be ordinarily available in mainstream settings and who is responsible for securing the support. This will give parents confidence and clarity on how their child’s needs will be met.

As part of this, the department has committed to developing practitioner standards, which were known as practice guides in the Improvement Plan, to provide advice to education professionals. At least three practitioner standards will be published by the end of 2025, one of which will be focused on autism. The department will build on existing best practice and will include guidance on how an education environment may be adapted to better support the needs of autistic pupils.

The department's Universal Services contract brings together SEND-specific continuous professional development and support for the school and further education workforce to improve outcomes for children and young people, including those who are autistic.

The contract offers autism awareness training and resources delivered by the Autism Education Trust (AET). Over 135,000 education professionals have undertaken autism awareness training as part of AET's ‘train the trainer’ model since the Universal Services programme commenced in May 2022.

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