Thursday, July 06, 2006

SENs: Select Committee report

We've just started reading the Education and Skills Committee report on Special Educational Needs which came out today. Once it has been duly digested we'll take a closer look at the issues around inclusive education and SEN policy, but so far the opening paragraphs of the summary look pretty damning:

The Government's policy of inclusion has come under criticism recently [] for its confused and changing definition which is reported to be causing the closure of special schools and "forcing" some children into mainstream schools when it is not in their best interests to be there, resulting in distress for pupils and parents.

Inclusion is a broad concept that covers a wide range of issues both within and between schools—and interpretations of the concept vary greatly—but, with specific regard to special schools, the Government has told this inquiry that it does not hold a policy of inclusion that is resulting in the closure of special schools...

In the 2004 SEN Strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement, however, which aims to "set out the Government's vision on SEN," guidance to local authorities unmistakably says that "the proportion of children educated in special schools should fall over time" and there should be a "reduced reliance on statements".


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