Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Young Campaigners meet Education Minister, Sarah Teather

On 27 March the National Autistic Society’s Young Campaigners group met Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families.  They discussed how schools can be improved for young people with autism, as part of our Great Expectations campaign.

The meeting gave our Young Campaigners the opportunity to share their own experiences of school life and to campaign for changes in the provision of Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Following the Government’s proposal for reforming the SEN system, the group has been devising a campaign to ensure that children and young people with autism have more support and choice in school. The groups’ campaign has three simple aims:

  • For children and young people with autism to be involved in decisions affecting them.
  • For teachers to better understand pupils with autism and how to support them.
  • To ensure that all students have the same opportunities, whoever they are and wherever they live.
The Young Campaigners each put a question to the Minister about these aims and have asked the Government to:

·        Ensure that all students with autism have a personalised plan to monitor progress.
·       Ensure the Local Offer, proposed in the SEN and Disability Green Paper, includes meaningful information which enables young people with autism and their families to access support which meets their needs.
·        Publicise the best practice guide for School Council’s, which the group has created.

One campaigner, Tiernan, 13, explained: “I wanted to do this because I want to raise awareness of autism and related conditions so that I can improve the lives of people with autism and other Special Educational Needs. Sarah Teather seemed to listen and care about our experiences.  For people with autism, like myself, school can be a living nightmare.”

Take Action:

To pledge your support the campaign, please sign their e-petition at

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