Anna Kennedy OBE weighs in on ‘sports day exclusion of autistic boy’ saga


Last night – Reports surfaced that Mark Birchall, the father of a seven year old autistic youngster was asked to keep his son off school for sports day in and effort to avoid him ‘causing a scene’.

The news story in the Liverpool Echo sent Twitter into overdrive.

Leading autism activist and charity founder Anna Kennedy OBE this evening told us “It saddens me that his teaching assistant suggested that this boy not attend Sports Day. I do agree it can be challenging for some children however, they could have chosen an activity that this pupil would be happy to participate in.”

She added “I would have suggested that the parent come along too supporting her son or daughter on the day. I have spoken to many parents where children are being asked not to attend school because they are having an OFSTED inspection, or they are going on a day trip!”

Authorities at Banks Road Primary School in Garston have since apologised for the comments by the teaching assistant.

Kennedy concluded “It saddens me that with all of the autism awareness I and others are trying to raise that our children are still being excluded. We still have a long way to go.”