Schools are still failing to adequately include pupils with
social and behavioural difficulties, according to a report from
inspection body Ofsted.
The report finds that incorporating pupils with behavioural
problems within mainstream education is proving to be “the hardest
test” of the government’s special educational needs inclusion
It states that schools find it hard to meet individual
pupils’ needs at the same time as providing “efficient
education for other children”. Consequently, a high proportion of
schools are “not reaching out to take pupils with more complex
needs, especially if their behaviour is hard to manage”, the report
Only a third of secondary schools were found to be effective in
meeting the needs of pupils with emotional or behavioural
Learning mentors were key, particularly in terms of providing
links between home, school and other agencies.
Overall it was found that the government’s inclusion
framework has had little effect on the proportion of SEN pupils in
mainstream schools. Since 2001 there has been a 10 per cent
increase in the number of pupils placed in independent special
schools, and a 25 per cent increase in those sent to pupil referral
Almost half of special educational needs co-ordinators said
staff perceptions were a major barrier to inclusion.
Mainstream and special schools were found still to be too
isolated from one another, and a significant number of pupils were
not making good progress from one key stage to another.