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School absences and exclusions experienced by children with learning disabilities and autistic children in 2016/17 in England

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Tizard Learning Disability Review
Issue number4
Volume23
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)207-212
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine data on absences and exclusions from school amongst children with learning disabilities and autistic children in England in 2016/2017. Design/methodology/approach: Data were drawn from Department for Education statistics for the school year 2016/2017 on school absences (authorised and unauthorised) and school exclusions (fixed-period and permanent) for children in the primary special educational needs categories of moderate learning difficulty (MLD), severe learning difficulty (SLD), profound and multiple learning difficulty (PMLD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Findings: Authorised school absence rates were higher for all groups of children investigated compared to children without special educational needs, primarily due to illnesses and health-related appointments. Rates of unauthorised school absences were low. Rates of fixed-period and permanent school exclusions were higher for children with MLD and ASD compared to children without SEN, and lower for children with SLD and PMLD. Reasons given for exclusions were similar across children (persistent disruptive behaviour, physical assault against a pupil, verbal abuse against an adult), although physical assault against an adult was also commonly mentioned for children with SLD, PMLD or ASD. Social implications: Reducing school absences for children with learning disabilities and autistic children will involve co-ordination of health and social care support arrangements to ensure they are convenient and efficient for children and families. In terms of exclusions, schools need to consider the extent to which they are making reasonable adjustments for children with learning disabilities and autistic children. Originality/value: This paper presents in one place statistics concerning school absences and school exclusions for children with learning disabilities and autistic children in England.

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This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.