Investigating the special education system 1: inclusion statistics

More and more attention has been paid to children who have special educational needs (SEN) after Ofsted’s report last year criticised teachers for overusing the term. But fewer investigations have focused on the experiences of children who have the most severe learning difficulties, those who have been granted statements of special education needs. We want to investigate the educational opportunities available to such students.

The Department for Education publishes datasets detailing the numbers of statemented SEN pupils across local authorities and the types of schools which they attend.

I plan to analyse this information in detail by looking at the size and specific types of specialist schools available in different areas – and the impact which this may have on local authorities’ attitudes to inclusion. As well as posting updates to this site I’ll be blogging in more detail about SEN statistics here.

Do you have experience of the special education system? Please help me investigate. I’m especially keen to talk to people from different regions. Let me know your thoughts by commenting or emailing me directly at ratcliffe.rc[at]

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One Response to Investigating the special education system 1: inclusion statistics

  1. Barbara Richards says:

    Dear Rebecca, my son was transferred from mainstream school in Stone Staffordshire to special school, he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when he was 4 years old, and we had a massive struggle all the time he was in school, first at mainstream where although he had a proper diagnosis (done over a two week investigation at a specialist health centre) the teachers kept sending him home because of his behavioral problems associated with his condition, and I had to fight the system all the time to pretty much beg for extra help. In the end when he reached middle school age the deputy head told me that he would be better off in special school because he would be very unlikely to get the extra funding for the care he needed at middle school, and that is why he ended up in special school.

    But I am investigating why my son and his classmates were bussed off to Drake Hall Prison without the knowledge and consent of the parents. I have found out there was some sort of special relationship scheme between prisons and special schools, the problem is the parents were not being informed. I know it was not only my sons school involved in this scheme, Standford Hill prison plus at least one other prison was involved.

    Barbara Richards

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