Sunday, June 26, 2011

Great Expectations: The NAS' new campaign on autism and education

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.

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