New research into education and inclusion
During February 2005 a survey of more than 1,000 professionals working in education was carried out in an exclusive poll for Community Care.
The survey of professionals found:
• Eight out of 10 professionals thought that if children with special educational needs were properly supported, most would benefit from being in mainstream schools.
• More than three quarters of the professionals surveyed said that, with the right support and resources, a policy of including children with special educational needs in mainstream schools would be good for all pupils.
• Almost 80 per cent said that the political focus on league tables and exam results means many more children are being excluded from mainstream schools than was the case 20 years ago.
• 87 per cent believed that when politicians talk about education, they ignore the needs and wishes of children with special educational needs and their parents.
• Three quarters thought it was more important that all parents are offered provision that is suitable for their child, than it is for parents to have ‘choice’.
• 72 per cent said teachers and classroom assistants do not get sufficient training in the area of Special Educational Needs.
• Nearly two thirds believed that most parents of children with special educational needs are not offered provision that is suitable for their child.
• Seven out of 10 agreed or strongly agreed that, by focusing on discipline in schools, politicians make including pupils with behavioural or emotional problems more difficult.
• More than eight out of 10 said that some children are excluded because they can’t get access to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) early enough.
• Almost 80 per cent thought there was a lack of good-quality alternative education available for children with disabilities, and 90 per cent said the same about provision for children with challenging behaviour.