Schools that include more pupils with special educational needs
perform as well as less-inclusive schools, a study has found.
Highly inclusive schools benefit the social skills and
understanding of all their pupils, although there may be a risk of
isolation for pupils with special needs, says the research for the
Department for Education and Skills.
Researchers studied 16 highly inclusive primary and secondary
schools in-depth, and analysed data on over 500,000 pupils from key
stages one to four from the National Pupil Database.
Although they found that highly-inclusive schools had slightly
worse results than the less-inclusive, this was probably because
they tended to be in disadvantaged areas where pupil attainment was
Highly-inclusive schools tailor to individual pupils’
needs and plan to improve all pupils’ attainment. Lower
performing inclusive schools did not do less well because of the
way they managed special needs pupils, the study finds.
The authors conclude that the commitment to inclusion is
unlikely to affect school performance.