SEN: The Truth about Inclusion

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Special Educational Needs debate has long been dominated by the inclusion -exclusion debate. This paper recognises that inclusion in mainstream school is good for many children with SEN and does not seek to enter into a debate of ideology, but simply to reveal the facts: Since the Labour Government came into power in 1997 and began to implement its policy of inclusion we find that:On Statements and Special School Places:Around 9000 places at special schools have been lostThe number of statements and assessments issued for children with SEN have fallen by over a thirdOn Truancy:Children on 'School Action Plus' schemes, which are replacing statements are twice as likely as other children with SEN to truant.A fifth of all children of School Action Plus are persistent Truants.On Exclusions:Special Educational Needs pupils make up the majority of pupils expelled from school at 67%, though they comprise only 17% of the school populationSEN pupils are more likely to be suspended more than once in a year. Out of the 78,600 pupils who were excluded more than once in a single year, half (49.7%) were SEN pupils.For the first time, this year over half of all suspensions from secondary school are pupils with Special Educational Needs (55%)On SEN and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs):Over half of pupils are suspended from PRUs -nearly three quarters have Special Educational NeedsTwo thirds (66%) of all SEN pupils at PRUs end up being suspendedSpecial Educational Needs pupils in Pupil Referral Units has risen by 70% since 1997On Parental choice:Around 83% of the increase in Independent School numbers over the last ten years are children with SEN.Over half all appeals are against a local authority's decision not to assess or statement a child.