Not included, not engaged, not involved: Update
It has now been one year since the publication of the Not Included, Not Engaged, Not Involved report. Jointly produced by Children in Scotland, Scottish Autism and the National Autistic Society, the report detailed the views of hundreds of families whose autistic children are not receiving an education that meets their needs, who are often out of school, and who describe the devastating impact of this on their child and family.
Since its publication, we (the report team) have been monitoring activity – both at local and national level – identifying how the nine calls made within the original report can or are being met, and where we continue to fall short.
Although there have been some positive steps in the last 12 months, we continue to be concerned about the apparent tolerance of the practice of unlawful exclusions for children with autism across local authorities.
Our latest supporter update reveals:
- Hope that activity of the new National Autism Implementation team, and refreshed Autism Toolbox, will take the necessary steps to stop autistic children being formally excluded
- Announcement of additional funding for frontline staff working with children and young people with additional support needs made in Programme for Government 2019-20 welcome
- Support for the revised guidance on placing children with additional support needs within mainstream education
- Changes to teacher education programmes to now include specific autism related content welcome, along with revised Professional Standards for Teachers
- Leadership from John Swinney on adopting a whole school approach congratulated
Despite this progress we feel there is still much to be done. Specifically, we are concerned about the lack of a minimum number of hours education for children missing school and the ongoing practice of unlawful exclusion.