Project information

Education Rights Service

The Education Rights Service provides parents with information, support and advice on educational provision and entitlements. It is the only autism-specific education advocacy service in the UK and has supported over 27,800 families through a telephone advice line and tribunal support scheme.

Ongoing

Charity information: The National Autistic Society

The National Autistic Society logo
  • Need

    Need

    At school, children with autism are not always understood. They often don’t understand the “social rules” and how to interact with their peers. This can make it hard to form friendships and many experience bullying. Lots of children with autism find unstructured time during the school day, such as break times, particularly difficult. Most children with autism are unsupported at school as often their needs are misunderstood and there is not enough resource available.

    Solution

    The Education Rights Service exists to help these unsupported children with autism get the education and the future that they deserve. It provides parents with information, support and advice on educational provision and entitlements to help guide parents through education law. Every child with autism will require some level of support depending on their individual needs. This can range from assistance with schoolwork to help improving social skills or even a placement at a specialist school.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Parents have a better understanding of their child's educational rights

    Activities

    » We will be able to achieve this by training our 26 volunteers so that they will be able to assist the caller with any query regarding education rights

    2015-16 service evaluation shows that 92% of parents agreed that they now know more about their child's educational rights than before. We will maintain/increase this success rate.


    Aim 2

    Parents are confident about discussing their child's educational rights with professionals.

    Activities

    » We will be able to achieve this by training our 26 volunteers so that they will be able to assist the caller with any query regarding education rights

    92% of parents felt more confident about discussing their child's educational rights with professionals. We’ll continue to gather data ensuring we achieve the same level of success


    Aim 3

    Parents feel better able to choose and make informed decisions about their child's education

    Activities

    » We will be able to achieve this by training our 26 volunteers so that they will be able to assist the caller with any query regarding education rights

    Our 2015-16 service evaluation shows that 91% of parents felt better able to choose and make informed decisions about their child's education. We'll maintain this percentage level.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Getting the right education is vital to the future well-being and success of children with autism. 75% of parents in an NAS survey said they struggled to get the educational support their child needed. Autism related appeals make up 40% of all Special Educational Needs and Disability tribunal cases. There is clearly as much need for the Education Rights team today as there was in 2000. The team is remarkable precisely because of its proven track record, supporting families for over 15 years.

    Risk

    The main risk for this project is volunteer turnover. We need to ensure that we have a steady flow of new volunteers recruited. As with any volunteer role, there is a chance that they may not be able to continue to commit to the hours needed. This is why the Education Rights Manager is so important as they manage the whole process of volunteer recruitment, training and retention. As a contingency, we recruit and train 10% more volunteers than required in order to negate the risk.

    Reporting

    We provide a six month and end of year report to all donors, details the successes of the project including the number of families helped, and the result of the questionnaires. Additionally we will provide case studies which show the long term effect that the service make to their child's life.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £136,336

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £119,159 Salaries Salaries and on costs for staff
      £7,110 Volunteer expenses Volunteer and sundry expenses
      £10,067 Administration costs Travelling, training, insurance and telecomms costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    City Bridge Trust £40,000 Guaranteed
  • Background

    Location

    We are a UK-wide service with advisers in each of the 4 nations which means we have a unique insight into how education and legislation operates across the UK, nationally and locally and are well placed to identify educational issues faced by families to feed into the organisation’s campaigning and policy work.

    Beneficiaries

    The project is open to any family who has a child with autism and is living in the UK. An added benefit of the service is our continued alliance with 3 law firms across UK who provide pro bono representation to families in most need at educational tribunals and support our service with volunteer training. Last year this equated to almost £800,000 in waived legal fees for these most vulnerable families.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The NAS has over 50 years of experience in developing and providing innovative and pioneering services.

    The Education Rights Service is the only autism-specific education advocacy service in the UK and has supported almost 30,000 families since it was established in 2000. For over 15 years we have supported families with free advice on education law, rights and entitlements to ensure that children and young people on the autism spectrum receive the education they need and deserve.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Carla Manini Rowden

    Carla is the Senior Education Rights Co-ordinator who oversees the management of all staff and volunteers working for the Education Rights Service.

    Dave Scowcroft

    Dave is Head of Casework and Family Support and manages Carla Manini Rowden and ensures she manages the team correctly and meets expectations.

    Volunteers

    There are 26 trained volunteers who offer free advice on special educational needs. They are managed by Carla and her team.