Department of Education

Exclusions

The School Exclusions Service, run by the National Autistic Society, offers advice and information to parents of children and young people on the autism spectrum on all aspects of school exclusion in England. This includes advice on informal (illegal) exclusions; fixed-period and permanent exclusions; how to challenge your child’s exclusion and what you can do if you are concerned that your child is at risk of exclusion.

Children on the autism spectrum are particularly vulnerable to being excluded from school. Sometimes behaviour associated with this hidden disability can be confused with disobedience because of a lack of awareness by both pupils and school staff. A pupil with autism trying to cope with the unstructured social aspects of school life can feel overwhelmed and become anxious, stressed and aggressive, resulting in a meltdown. Head teachers may feel that exclusion is the only solution in order to maintain the safety and well-being of other pupils. Indeed it may be the case that a mainstream school is not the best setting for a particular child. However, disruptive behaviour can be an indication of unmet needs and schools have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to policies and practices to ensure that pupils on the autism spectrum also feel safe, confident and able to experience success.

The Department for Education is funding this service through the AET, to provide information and advice to parents, when a child or young person on the autism spectrum is excluded from school, or is at risk of exclusion; and to support professionals in early intervention strategies and good practice to avoid the need for exclusions.

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How to use our School Exclusions Service

  • Make an enquiry or request an appointment by emailing [email protected]. It would be helpful if you could provide as much detail as possible regarding your enquiry.
  • Call 0808 800 4002. Leave a message on our answering service (free from landlines and most mobiles). It would be helpful if you could leave a brief summary of your enquiry, together with your phone number and email address, so that an Exclusions Adviser can arrange to call you back to discuss your query in detail.

We aim to reply within five working days. Please note that it may take us longer than this if our Exclusions Adviser is away.

AET Steps to avoid the exclusion of autistic pupils
AET obj C School stress and anxiety sch refusal and impact on family life cover
AET obj B guide to help gB understand sch duties re exclusion and EA 2010 cover
AET obj B parents' guide re exclusion and EA 2010 cover
AET Successful reintegration of autistic pupils following school exclusion
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