The Government is committed to providing an education system that works for all children, including those with special educational needs such as autism. It is vitally important that autistic children are given the additional support they deserve to reach their full potential.
While there is more that can be done to support autism in schools, I can assure you that the Government has already made notable progress in improving the educational infrastructure for children with special educational needs. In order to deliver autism awareness training and advice for teachers and other staff, so that they can appropriately identify and interact with autistic children, the Government has funded three voluntary sector organisations, including the Autism Education Trust (AET). The AET has trained more than 100,000 education staff since 2012, in addition to publishing national autism standards and frameworks.
Further to this, the Government has issued £113 million in funding between 2014/15 and 2016/17 through the SEND Implementation Grant to support local authorities in carrying out reforms to special needs education. There has also been a focus on opening more specialist schools for children with autism. Several of the schools opened under the Free Schools Programme are catered exclusively to autistic pupils.
The Government is committed to putting effective special provisions in place, as autism must not be a barrier to educational success.