Scottish council U-turns over autistic youngsters' school return

Falkirk Council has performed a U-turn on its decision not to allow young children with severe autism who attend specialist schools to return full time.

Last week, parents of children in P1 to P3 who attend three specialist schools within the Falkirk Council area were told they would not be able to return to school full time – despite mainstream schools opening for five days for that age group.

Children under seven in Ladeside, Sacred Heart and Easter Carmuirs schools in Falkirk, which cater for children with severe autism, were instead told they could only attend school for four days a week until all pupils are back in class, which is not due to happen until at least March 15.

However, the council this week said it had “resolved staffing issues” and would allow children to return full time.

Children in P1 to P3 with autism were initially told they could only return to school four days a week

A spokesman for Falkirk Council said: “We managed to resolve our staffing issues sooner than we had originally anticipated and we were always keeping the situation under review. All of our P1-P3 pupils are now back.”

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One parent of a child at one of Falkirk’s three ASN schools said: “When we received the call on Monday from the school telling us that Falkirk council had reversed their decision, I was so relieved.

"I hope that Falkirk Council use this as a learning opportunity to ensure that they recognise all of our children’s rights and abilities. Raising a child with additional needs is an individual journey, one that can be made slightly easier when our children are acknowledged and supported for the amazing human beings that they are.”

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