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Autism: Intimidation

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to minimise the number of pupils with autism who are excluded from school because they are being bullied. (230239)

We have an ongoing programme of work to help prevent and tackle the bullying of children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. In May 2008 we published guidance which provides schools with comprehensive advice on how to prevent and tackle the bullying of children with SEN and disabilities. The guidance makes clear that pupils with SEN and disabilities must not be excluded from school for being bullied, even if the school believes they are doing so for the child’s benefit. The guidance also includes useful case studies illustrating how schools have successfully tackled the bullying of autistic pupils, and how schools should respond in situations where autistic pupils are provoked into attacking other pupils. The Anti-Bullying Alliance and National Strategies are working with local authorities and schools to ensure the guidance is effectively implemented on the ground.