A pioneer of inclusive education has called for many more
disadvantaged pupils, including children in care, to be taught in
special schools, to improve their educational outcomes.
Baroness Warnock, who chaired a 1974 inquiry that recommended
inclusive education, says attempts to educate all but the most
severely disabled children in the same environment had
In a pamphlet for the Philosophy of Education Society of Great
Britain, she says the needs of many socially deprived and disabled
children and pupils with learning difficulties are better met in
small, special schools.
Warnock says the high exclusion rates faced by children in care and
autistic pupils means they are not, in practice, included within
mainstream education. But she warns that special schools must be
given a higher status and better funding.
The Disability Rights Commission said Warnock was right that a
review was needed but wrong to focus on a “sterile” debate over
mainstreaming and specialised schools.
DRC spokesperson Patrick Edwards said a review would be “a waste of
time” unless the terms of the debate allowed for a focus on the
delivery of education and the need to raise the educational
attainments of disabled children.