Education: Autism

Education written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland Conservative, South Swindon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will take steps to ensure that children with autism receive adequate support and assistance during the transition from primary to secondary education; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather The Minister of State, Department for Education

Schools, and for children with special educational needs (SEN) statements, local authorities have responsibilities to ensure that children with SEN, including children with autism, make successful transitions between primary and secondary education. There is statutory guidance on this transition in the SEN code of practice. Advice is also available from other schools and local authorities, autism specialists, guidance previously published by the Department, such as 'Supporting pupils on the autism spectrum', published as part of the Inclusion Development Programme, and from the Autism Education Trust, which the Department funds and which has published a Transition Toolkit. The Department is aware that the transition from primary to secondary school can be particularly difficult for children with autism because of their resistance to change and will monitor research which is being conducted on this issue, such as that which is being carried out currently by the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.

The Government aim to publish a Green Paper on SEN and disability shortly. The Green Paper will set out how the Government intend to make the SEN system better for children with SEN, including those with autism, and their families.

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