Finished at School campaign success influences the Children and Families Bill

Ambitious-about-Autism-logoAmbitious about Autism’s Finished at School campaign is celebrating as the Government propose amendments to the Children and Families Bill that will help create a clear legal right to support up to the age of 25 for young disabled people accessing education.

Today the Government is due to ask the House of Lords to agree changes to the Children and Families Bill which mark a significant improvement to rights to support for young disabled people aged 19 to 25. Rather than basing a decision about support on a young person’s age, it will be based on the time a young person needs in order to achieve positive outcomes.

For the past year Finished at School supporters and partners have been working hard to persuade Parliamentarians that the wording of the Children and Families Bill would not go far enough to help young disabled people get the support they need in education beyond school. Currently only 1 in 4 young people with autism continue their education beyond school.

Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:

“This Bill will now make it much easier for young people with autism to get the support they need to succeed in education beyond school. There is no question that it is thanks to the efforts of the young people, parents and professionals supporting the Finished at School campaign that we have been able to achieve this.

Through people sharing their stories with decision makers from across the political spectrum, we have been able to demonstrate both the challenges that the current system creates, and the potential that young people with autism have to thrive and achieve with the right support.

There is still work to do on the draft Code of Practice to ensure the Children and Families Bill creates a genuine improvement for all young people with autism. We will continue to work with Parliamentarians and sector colleagues to make this happen.  But for now we can all celebrate the final Finished at School campaign win!”

Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. The charity providesservices, raises awareness and understanding, and campaigns to make the ordinary possible for children and young people with autism. Find out more at www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk

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