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Is inclusion working?

10 November 2017

A report by a SEN charity has suggested that pupils with SEN are being pushed out of mainstream education and into special schools. The charity evidences this by referring to the fact that in 2007 only 36% of pupils with SEN statements were education in special schools whereas in 2017 the figure is around 45%. The rise in pupil numbers in special schools has occurred despite the proportion of pupils with SEN statements and now EHC plans remaining steady at 2.8% of the student population. The charity is concerned that the number of special schools has not kept pace with this increase and, as a result, many schools are full to capacity and have waiting lists. The charity suggests that stricter accountability measures have resulted in schools in having less capacity to be inclusive and support pupils with a wide range of SEN and disabilities.

Inclusion remains part of the legislative framework and mainstream education is seen as appropriate for most children. Schools need to be aware of the presumption towards inclusion for all and the potential for disability discrimination where provision is denied to such children.

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