I’ve recently received a number of emails from constituents regarding education and care for people with autism.
All children with autism deserve access to high quality, full-time education. A recent report published by the National Autistic Society and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism found that 70% of parents of children with autism say that support was not put in place quickly enough for their child. Additionally, fewer than 5 in 10 teachers say that they are confident about supporting a child on the autism spectrum.
The report recommended for the Government to develop a national autism and education strategy by the end of 2019.
At the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto which committed to deliver a strategy for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) based on inclusivity, and embed SEND more substantially into training for teachers and non-teaching staff.
The manifesto also set the ambition to make our country autism-friendly and committed to make sure autistic people are able to access the whole of their community.
I can assure that I and my Labour colleagues will press the Government to act on this issue and urge them to carefully consider the recommendations of the report by the APPG on autism.