The hidden implications of the Green Paper: less funding for Special Needs and increased segregation?

Francis Gilbert's picture
 2
The Green Paper on Special Needs contains some important ideas. Let's look at some:

Important quotes from the paper. The Green Paper suggests, the government will:

"give parents a real choice of school, either a mainstream or special school.
We will remove the bias towards inclusion and propose to strengthen parental choice by improving the range and diversity of schools from which parents can choose, making sure they are aware of the options available to them and by changing statutory guidance for local authorities give parents a real choice of school, either a mainstream or special school. We will remove the bias towards inclusion and propose to strengthen parental choice by improving the range and diversity of schools from which parents can choose, making sure they are aware of the options available to them and by changing statutory guidance for local authorities..."

Key questions: Is the movement away from "inclusion" a good thing? Will it lead to more segregation?

The Green Paper also suggests this:

 
"introduce greater independence to the assessment of children’s needs,

testing how the voluntary and community sector could coordinate assessment and input from across education, health and social care as part of our proposals to move to a single assessment process and ‘Education, Health and Care Plan’.

 

Key questions: will this mean in effect that the job of helping children with Special Needs will be done by 'voluntary' workers, ie unpaid ones? Is this going to mean 'down-grading' the existing professionals?
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Comments

Andrew Old's picture
Wed, 09/03/2011 - 19:49

Hmmmm.

Well don't leave it to us. Tell us what you think. Should be interesting in light of what you have previously said about SEN:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/7905258/Special-needs-is-a-fad-that...

Lucy Knight-Ballard's picture
Thu, 10/03/2011 - 17:20

Strong inclusion, weak inclusion, out right segregation.

I haven't had chance to read the paper yet and I don't know which approach it leans toward, but I would expect it to take into account the hugely diverse range of pupil capability. I would also expect that there will have been considerable consideration given to the overall impact of returning to a more segregated system.

Parent choice is important, as are the rights of the individual.

Supporting children's needs, where ever possible and inabeling them to attend the same school as thier peers is in line with legal requirements and equal opportunities. Children's needs can change drastically throughout thier time in education so it is important that they can receive intervention support in a consistent setting and not be required, as in previous times, to attend different settings on different days of the week.

Furthermore, a society that grows together, plays together and learns together is a stronger, more cohesive society. Shouldn't that be the type of society we are aiming for?

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