We are acutely aware, particularly during a time of budget cuts and the Covid-19 pandemic, that marginalised families suffer the most*. Families marginalised as a result of ethnicity, social economic status or where they live, have disproportionately worse educational outcomes.
DfE data from 2019/2020 shows that autism families are more likely to be on free school meals than the general school population (29% compared to 17%) and we heard from families in our exclusion research about the financial toll experienced.
This was the worst experience of my life. I had to declare myself bankrupt during the 18 months he was not in an educational placement.
Parent whose child was excluded aged 8 from a primary mainstream
ACER has a previous track record in research of ethnically and culturally diverse groups* and in 2021 we secured UKRI funding to conduct a wider study of the experiences of marginalised families and to work with schools and Local Authorities to identify areas of best practice.
*For more information on this research see:
- Perepa, P. (2014). Cultural basis of social ‘deficits’ in autism spectrum disorders. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 29(3), 313-326.
- Papoudi, D., Jørgensen, C. R., Guldberg, K., & Meadan, H. (2020). Perceptions, Experiences, and Needs of Parents of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children with Autism: a Scoping Review. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-18.