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The APPGA says there should be an action plan for all those with autism.The All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA) is calling on the Government to ensure that all schools have a designated autism lead when it finalises its plans for SEN provision. The cross-party group of MPs says that autism-specific support should be provided by a teacher with the relevant knowledge and training in autism.

In its report, The right start: reforming the system for children with autism, the APPGA argues that every child with autism should have an action plan, including those without statements of SEN or education, health and care plans.

The group also says there should be a guarantee of support up to the age of 25, including for those not in further education, so that young people with SEN can become independent adults.

The report follows the APPGA’s public survey earlier this year which found that parents and education professionals believe that not enough training to teach pupils with autism is currently available. More than 80 per cent of respondents said teachers are not given enough training to support children with autism effectively.
Robert Buckland, Conservative MP and Chair of the APPGA, praised the efforts of teachers, teaching assistants, support staff and parents whom he said “work tirelessly” with children and young people with autism. However, he cautioned  that “ there are too many instances where parents are left feeling that their child’s needs are not being met and far too many instances where teachers are left without the necessary specialist training or resources.”

The Sept/Oct 2012 issue of SEN Magazine will feature an article by Robert Buckland MP on the APPGA’s report and recommendations.

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