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by Daniel Johnson MSP for Edinburgh Southern

It’s not often I read a report and I have an emotional reaction, but I would challenge anyone to read the report on autistic children’s experience of the school system in Scotland, co-authored by Children in Scotland, the National Autistic Society Scotland and Scottish Autism, and not feel angry.

Daniel Johnson MSP outside his constituency office
Daniel Johnson MSP

It’s why I brought forward a members’ debate in parliament on the issue.

That report said that 13% of parents of autistic children had had their child formally excluded in the last two years; 28% said that their child had been placed on a part-time timetable; 34% of parents said that their child had been sent home without formal exclusion – that is simply not right and it’s unlawful.

These awful figures and the number of teachers specialising in learning support are linked. In 2017 it sat at 2,835 a drop of 152 since 2016, and the lowest number of these teachers since 2010.

Simply put, The Scottish Government needs to do much, much better.