Jarvis Cocker, Adam Buxton, Harry Hill and Jonny Borrell have all pledged support to our new campaign Great Expectations.
They have recorded short clips for us expressing their support.
Please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykt850jvqZ4&feature=relmfu to watch the clips.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Yesterday saw the successful launch of our new campaign Great Expectations in Parliament.
NAS President Jane Asher (pictured) reflected on the struggles parents had to get the help their children needed at school. She stressed how important it was to get help in early and how much money this could save in the long run.
Disabilities Minister Maria Miller responded to the campaign on behalf of the Government. She said that the special educational needs (SEN) "system was broken" and that the Government were determined to fix it through proposals set out in the SEN Green Paper.
She also said that getting support in place for children with autism was in her experience a particular battle. Some schools were able to be fully inclusive of children on the spectrum, so others should be able to do it too. At the moment, being able to access the right support seemed to be based on luck, she added.
Shadow Education Secretary Andy Burnham stressed the importance of cross party working on SEN reforms to make sure that Government got the reforms right. He noted the success of cross party working on the Autism Act.
Two parents of children with autism also spoke at the event about their experiences of having to fight the system. Sadly, the research we carried out for the campaign showed that their experiences were all too common. The research, based on survey responses from over 1,000 children with autism and parents and focus groups accross the country, showed:
- 48% of parents say they have waited over a year to get the right support for their child, and 27% have waited more than two years.
- 18% of parents have had to take legal action to get the right support for their children, and have been to tribunal an average of 3.5 times each
- Just half of parents (52%) feel their child is making good educational progress.
- 43% of young people feel teachers don’t know enough about autism.
The campaign calls for a system in which parents are treated as equal partners and genuinely involved in decisions about their child’s education and the planning of local services, and for all children with autism to be able to get the support they need quickly and easily, from teachers who understand how to support them.
The event was hosted by the vice chair of the all party parliamentary group on autism Steve Brine MP. It was well attended - the room was full of MPs, peers, parents of children with autism, children with autism and professionals.
The NAS is calling on all MPs and peers to support the campaign and help ensure that we use the Government's proposed reforms of the SEN system as an opportunity to get things right for children with autism. Please support the campaign, by emailing your MP.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Today The National Autistic Society launches a new campaign, Great Expectations , to end the battle many parents face trying to get the right education for their child, and we need your help.
The Government is planning the biggest overhaul of the SEN system for 30 years. The Great Expectations campaign aims to make sure we take this opportunity to make the changes to the system that children with autism and their parents want. We have great expectations for an education system which works for every child with autism.
The campaign report, published today, is based on research with over 1,000 children with autism and parents. Our research found that:
· 48% of parents say they have waited over a year to get the right support for their child, and 27% have waited more than two years.
· 18% of parents have had to take legal action to get the right support for their children, and have been to tribunal an average of 3.5 times each.
· Just half of parents (52%) feel their child is making good educational progress.
· 43% of young people feel teachers don’t know enough about autism.
The campaign will be launched in Parliament this evening at a reception expecting to attract around 80 MPs, including the Disability Minister, Maria Miller and Shadow Education Secretary, Andy Burnham.
The NAS is calling for a system in which parents are treated as equal partners and genuinely involved in decisions about their child’s education and the planning of local services, and for all children with autism to be able to get the support they need quickly and easily, from teachers who understand how to support them.
We need your help.
You can support the campaign, by emailing your MP to ask them to raise these issues in parliament. To find out more about the campaign, and other ways you can get involved, visit the campaign homepage .
The Government’s reforms will shape the future of a generation of children with autism.
· Children with autism expect an education that sets them up for life
· Parents expect a system that works with, not against, them
· We expect the Government to listen, and to act.
Let’s work together. Let’s get it right.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Following campaigning by the NAS alongside a range of other organisations who are part of the Special Education Consortium (SEC), the Government has reversed its decision to remove legal aid for SEN cases.
Announcing the publication of the Legal Aid and Sentancing Bill on 21st June, Justice Minister Ken Clark stated clearly that he had decided to protect legal aid for SEN cases.
The legal aid scheme provides free legal support to the poorest parents appealing to the Tribunal against decisions made by local authorities in England about the additional support their child gets.
Parents can receive legal advice in preparing a case and also legal representation at the Upper-tier Tribunal (which is the equivalent of the High Court).
Legal aid also allows parents to purchase the independent reports needed to support their evidence to the Tribunal. The eligibility criteria for legal aid is both means tested and based on a merits test that considers the chances of a claim succeeding and the resources at stake.
For more information and advice on preparing for Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunals, contact our education rights service on 0808 8004102 or see: http://www.autism.org.uk/our-services/advice-and-information-services/education-rights-service/advocacy-for-education-service-in-england-and-wales.aspx