Government plans to keep special schools

Government plans to retain the use of special schools for some
children with special educational needs have received a mixed

The Special Educational Needs Strategy, published last
week, states that ministers see a role for special schools both in
educating some children with SEN directly and in sharing their
expertise with mainstream schools.

But the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education, an independent
education charity, said that retaining separate special schools
would “perpetuate prejudice and discrimination against disabled

It called for ministers to set a target for the closure of all
special schools by 2020.

However, the National Autistic Society said there would always be
some children with complex autistic spectrum disorders who needed
specialist provision.

Meanwhile, the Disability Rights Commission said special schools
were appropriate for some children with SEN until the process of
mainstream schools becoming more inclusive is better established.

The strategy proposes changing schools’ performance league tables
to recognise the achievements of all pupils, including those with

Further proposals outline a new inclusion development programme to
support partnerships between education, health, social care and the
voluntary sector through new children’s trusts.

– Special Educational Needs Strategy available from from

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