Being Misunderstood in Education


There is currently significant interest in the numbers of children and young people who are excluded from school or find themselves unable to get into school and end up either at home or some form of alternative provision.

The Children's Commissioners' 2019 report ‘Skipping School’ and the Dispatches programme that went alongside it highlighted some of the issues. The conclusions drawn related to some of the key concerns from a systemic point of view: a focus on schools which are most likely to fail families; action against unregistered schools; and safeguarding measures.

At the PDA Society, we believe that much more could be said and done on the subject of availability of services and support for children and families, and so we are hoping this will be explored further in the ongoing research.

To demonstrate the need, we have published 'Being Misunderstood in Education'. The information expands on the Being Misunderstood report we published in May 2018, and is based on the same dataset and this time includes many comments from parents. The proportion of individuals with the PDA profile who don’t survive the school environment, at 70%, is truly significant.

It is hoped that the Children's Commissioner and others will review what works, what the barriers are to setting up innovative solutions and what ‘good outcomes’ look like for young people including those with a PDA profile of ASD – recognised as among the most difficult to accommodate.


Published: March 2019