Adoption UK welcomes today’s legal ruling, which offers children with autistic spectrum disorders greater protection against school exclusion.

The ruling was made at the Upper Tribunal in London in the case of a 13-year-old boy who was excluded from school due to behaviour linked to his autism. 

Alison Woodhead, AUK’s director of public affairs and communications, said: “This judgement is really significant for all children with special needs. When a child is behaving in a challenging way we must always look at the reason behind their behaviour.”

Many adopted children have suffered neglect and abuse during their early childhood. They are over-represented among those with Special Educational Needs and research conducted by Adoption UK suggests they are 20 times more likely to be permanently excluded than their peers.

Ms Woodhead said: “Exclusion should always be a last resort. Children who have had a tough start in life deserve an equal chance to succeed in school.”