Our Education Rights service celebrated its 10th anniversary with a drinks reception at the office of Harper Macleod LLP, the law firm it has been supported by since launch.

The service helps to ensure that autistic children receive the education they need and deserve by providing families with free advice on education law, rights and entitlements. It is the only one of its kind in Scotland.

Lesley Pert, volunteer; Jenny Paterson, Director of The National Autistic Society Scotland: James Lloyd, Partner at Harper McLeod and Carla Manini Rowden, Education Rights Manager
Lesley Pert, volunteer; Jenny Paterson, Director of The National Autistic Society Scotland: James Lloyd, Partner at Harper Macleod LLP and Carla Manini Rowden, Education Rights Manager

Speaking at the event, Jenny Paterson, Director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “Education law is complex and ever-changing. Moreover, autism is consistently the highest additional support need in tribunal appeals, signifying the lack of support and understanding many children face. This service is so important because it gives families the knowledge, tools and support they need to ensure autistic children get the education they deserve.”

Since 2006, we have supported over 2,750 individual families across Scotland. In that time, Harper Macleod LLP has donated over 1,600 hours of support via representation to families in most need – that’s around £200,000 in waived fees.

The Education Rights service is also supported by small team of dedicated volunteers. One of the volunteers, Lesley Pert, has been there since the very start and was honoured with a 10 years’ service award.