The School Exclusions Service offers advice and information to parents of children and young people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on all aspects of school exclusion in England. This includes advice on informal (illegal) exclusions; fixed-period and permanent exclusions; how to challenge your child’s exclusion and what you can do if you are concerned that your child is at risk of exclusion.

Children with autism are particularly vulnerable to being excluded from school. Sometimes behaviour associated with this hidden disability can be confused with disobedience because of a lack of awareness of the condition by both pupils and adults in school. Sometimes a pupil with autism, trying to cope with the unstructured social aspects of school life, can feel overwhelmed and become anxious, stressed and aggressive, resulting in a meltdown. Headteachers may feel that exclusion is the only solution in order to maintain the safety and well-being of other pupils. Indeed it may be the case that a mainstream school is not the best setting for a particular child. However, disruptive behaviour can be an indication of unmet needs and schools have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to policies and practices to ensure that pupils with ASD also feel safe, confident and able to experience success.

 

The NAS School Exclusions Service is funded by the Department for Education

 

The Department for Education (DfE) is funding the NAS to provide information and advice to parents, when a child or young person with autism is excluded from school, or is at risk of exclusion; and to support professionals in early intervention strategies and good practice to avoid the need for exclusions.

How to use our School Exclusions Service

  • Make an enquiry or request an appointment by emailing schoolexclusions@nas.org.uk. It would be helpful if you could provide as much detail as possible regarding your enquiry.
  • Call our Autism Helpline on 0808 800 4104, selecting option 3 (Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm and Friday 9am-3pm). The Helpline will take details of your query and arrange a telephone appointment for you with our Exclusions Advisor, who will call you back at the agreed time to discuss your query in detail.

We aim to reply within 5 working days. Please note that it may take us longer than this if our Exclusions Advisor is away.

Find general information about exclusions on our website.