Children: Autism

Education written question – answered on 12th July 2011.

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Photo of Julie Elliott Julie Elliott Labour, Sunderland Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps are being taken to ensure that children with autistic spectrum disorders receive the appropriate support in school.

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

Schools and local authorities have duties to identify children with special educational needs (SEN), including those with autistic spectrum disorders, and to make appropriate provision for them.

Consultation has recently finished on the SEN and disability Green Paper, “Support and aspiration”, which sets out wide-ranging proposals for improvement. The Green Paper says that the Department will make available free training materials on four areas of SEN, including autism. Outstanding special schools, including those which focus on providing for children with autism, will be able to apply to become teaching schools, or members of teaching school partnerships, developing their own staff alongside staff in schools in their network and sharing their expertise. The Department will also help local networks of schools develop teachers with specialist skills, such as skills in teaching children with autism, who can be deployed across clusters of schools.

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