Barriers to tests and exams for autistic pupils: improving access and longer-term outcomes

Article


Wood, R. and Happé, F. 2020. Barriers to tests and exams for autistic pupils: improving access and longer-term outcomes. International Journal of Inclusive Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2020.1866685
AuthorsWood, R. and Happé, F.
Abstract

Despite the availability of access arrangements for tests and exams for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, many autistic children and young people have low academic achievements. There is also a lack of consensus on what their educational priorities should be and a failure to link their school programmes to longer-term outcomes. More broadly in the UK, the value of tests in primary school is contested. In this qualitative study based in five mainstream primary schools in England, school staff (n = 36), autistic children (n = 10), their parents (n = 10), autistic adults (n = 10), and a sample of parents of children in the same class as the participating autistic children (n = 63) provided their views on school tests and educational priorities for primary school pupils. Findings reveal mixed opinions on what autistic pupils should study in school, and suggest that they are not receiving the access arrangements for tests to which they are potentially entitled. Additional factors, including stress in school and the language of test questions, create further barriers to education and success in tests. Addressing these issues and consulting with autistic pupils on their educational priorities could help improve their future well-being and attainment.

KeywordsAutism; school tests; access arrangements; educational priorities; outcomes
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
ISSN1464-5173
1360-3116
Year2020
PublisherRoutledge
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2020.1866685
Publication dates
Online30 Dec 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted15 Dec 2020
Deposited04 Jan 2021
FunderEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Copyright holder© 2020 Taylor & Francis
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the International Journal of Inclusive Education on 30.12.20, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13603116.2020.1866685

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