Autistic children should be given greater access to residential schools, claims review

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has “welcomed” a Government review into the experiences and outcomes of children placed in residential special schools.

Catriona Moore, Policy & Parliamentary Officer at NAS, said is it important that every child on the autism spectrum has the opportunity to receive a good education.

Around 6,000 children and young people attend resident schools and College in England, most with the highest levels of needs. Students will most likely struggle with communication, anxiety and sensory differences.

Residential schools can provide a “safe space” for people with autism, and many schools are able to offer a good level of support and the correct resources to get the most out of children 24 hours a day.

However, not enough children have access to residential schools. The Government review found that many more children would be able to benefit from the support of residential schools, but often are left in local community schools.

Ms Moore said: “For some children, residential school will be the best option, and this decision should be a positive choice based on the child’s individual needs, rather than a last resort when other options have failed.”

“The National Autistic Society is supporting an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA) into how well the education system in England works for children and young people on the autism spectrum. The APPGA will shortly be publishing a report setting out their findings and recommendations.”