Parents’ guide to illegal school exclusions

 school exclusions guide by Ambitious About AutismHelping parents get justice for illegal school exclusions

UK charity Ambitious about Autism has  launched a new guide –  aimed at helping parents take action against illegal school exclusions.

The charity estimates that 26,000 children and young people with autism were unlawfully deprived of education last year. And its new guide offers practical advice and guidance on what an illegal exclusion is and how parents can hold schools that break the rules to account.

Any exclusion that is not formally recorded by a school is in breach of the law – but research by Ambitious about Autism revealed serious problems with how this law is enforced.

The charity finds that thousands of children and young people with autism and special educational needs have been subjected to informal or ‘unofficial’ exclusions, such as sending a pupil home ‘to cool off’ – which are not reported. This means schools are not being sanctioned when the law is broken.

Its new guidance aims to help families affected by illegal exclusions to understand their rights, as well as raise awareness of the scale of the problem with decision-makers.

Elizabeth Archer, Policy and Campaigns Director at Ambitious about Autism, said: “Thousands of families are struggling to get justice for illegal exclusions. Sending a child home from school illegally is not only a stressful and disrupting experience for the pupil and their families – it can also be incredibly difficult to challenge.

“This new guidance aims to equip people with knowledge about their rights when illegal exclusions take place. It is also designed to increase awareness among decision makers about the scale of the problem – so we can work together to stamp out this practice once and for all.”

Download the parents’ guide on exclusions

Visit our School Exclusions page