Exclusions and exam accommodations
Last year the Department for Education commissioned us to do further research into exclusions and exam accommodations, and to develop relevant resources to support professionals and parents alike.
Exclusions affect many children and young people with autism, and guidance and help is badly needed. The School Exclusion Service, run by the NAS, is now an established provision and is funded through the AET contract with the DfE. We have also developed 5 new resources available on our website:
• Steps to avoid the exclusion of autistic pupils
• School stress and anxiety – how it can lead to school refusal and impact on family life
• A guide to help governing boards comply with equality law when considering a head teacher’s decision to exclude an autistic pupil
• A guide to help parents navigate equality law, rights and entitlements when their autistic child is excluded or at risk of exclusion from school
• Successful reintegration of autistic pupils following school exclusion
We have also released two resources that provide support with exam accommodations. This is particularly important for secondary school aged children as they are preparing for GSCEs and A-levels. Autism may affect students in exam situations when responding to instructions during an exam from an invigilator or understanding colloquialisms and hidden and subtle meanings within exam questions. It may also affect how they answer certain exam questions that require a response that involves inference and empathy. Our guidance and recommendations help examining boards making reasonable adjustments for pupils with autism or other disabilities that are needed to make exams accessible, e.g. extra time or a reader.