League tables harm special needs

Many schools are rejecting children with special educational needs
and disabilities because they fear they will bring down their
performance and affect their place in the league tables, according
to an Audit Commission report.

The report calls on the government to give schools more incentives
to accept children with special needs, and recommends the
introduction of new systems for recognising schools’ work on SEN by
raising its profile in school inspection and rewarding schools that
can show inclusive practice.

Under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001,
schools must not discriminate against children with these

But Sir Andrew Foster, controller of the Audit Commission, said:
“League tables weaken schools’ commitment to working with pupils
with SEN – for fear they will drag down their position. This
explains the reluctance of some headteachers to admit pupils with

Special Educational Needs: a mainstream issue, from www.audit-commission.gov.uk

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