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'inclusion' results in 'exclusion' for pupils with SEN

21 December 2010

It has been revealed that over 70% of excluded pupils have some form of special educational needs. The official figures were revealed in a response to a parliamentary question by Charlotte Leslie, the Conservative MP who sits on the Commons Education Select Committee. Out of those excluded, 44% are on 'school action plus' (which is the status given to children who fall just short of receiving a Statement of SEN), and 20% are children on ‘school action’, the level below 'school action plus'.

Leslie commented that "children who would previously have been given statements and had their needs legally enshrined have suffered under a scheme which was designed to be the 'inclusive' version of a statement".

The statistics substantiate the argument that there has been too much emphasis on teaching children with SEN in mainstream schools and insufficient recognition of when the setting is inappropriate. The culling of special school places and statements under the guise of ‘inclusion’ has not worked in the best interests of many children with SEN. Hopefully this failing will be suitably addressed in Sarah Teather’s forthcoming green paper on SEN.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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