10 Mar SEN Exclusions
Why are ‘School action plus’ pupils who just miss out on obtaining a statement being excluded from school at a particularly high rate?
At the end of 2010, a report in the Observer reported children who just miss out on obtaining a statement are being excluded from school at a particularly high rate. Figures show that children on “school action plus” (those with special needs but no statement) make up 44% of all permanent exclusions in 2008-09. Meanwhile, 8% of exclusions involved pupils who had been granted a statement and 20% were children on “school action”, the level below “school action plus”. More than 70% of those excluded permanently had some form of special educational needs.
The figures were revealed in a response to a parliamentary question by the Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie, who said, “Over the last decade, we have seen a culling of special school places and statements, all under the name of ‘inclusion’. While genuine inclusion is obviously a good thing, these figures show the reality of a decade of an ideology of inclusion: 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.”
Sarah Teather, the children’s minister, said she wanted to see children with special needs have the same opportunities as every other child. “We need to intervene early on to address any behavioural issues before they lead to exclusions,” she said. “We know that many parents feel they have to battle with the special needs system in order to get the provision they feel they need for their children.”Her department will publish a green paper reviewing how the process could become less adversarial.
The full story is available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/dec/19/special-needs-permanent-exclusions-school