Exclusions from school

Exclusions from school

Figures from the Department of Education (DfE) show that autistic children are more likely to be excluded from school than non-autistic children.

A reason for this may be autistic children’s behaviour, which is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as non-compliance. Also, due to the stress and anxiety autistic children experience at school, they are more likely to experience distress more often, which teachers may refer to as ‘being challenging’.

Reasons for exclusions

Sometimes, a mainstream school may not be the best environment for autistic children, and an alternative setting has to be found. A headteacher may also decide to exclude children, if the school believes that their behaviour puts the wellbeing and safety of others at risk. However, when children show distressed behaviour at school, this can often be as a result of unmet needs.

Unlawful exclusions

Schools are required by law to make reasonable adjustments, so that all pupils feel safe and can reach their full potential. Pupils can only be excluded for disciplinary reasons, not because a school can’t meet their needs. Unlawful exclusion of a pupil with a disability may be a disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

If you'd like to find out more about exclusions from school, you can access our online learning resources or follow the links to other websites below.