The TES is reporting new research that shows the number of children registered as having special educational needs has fallen sharply after changes to government policy.
Helen Curran, senior lecturer in special educational needs at Bath Spa University, suggests that this could be a result of pressure on school resources and the reduction of funding for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
But the Department for Education insists that many pupils were wrongly identified as SEND in the past, and the drop is simply correcting a historical error.
Ms Curran conducted a survey of 74 special educational needs coordinators, responsible for overseeing SEND provision in schools.
Sixty-three per cent of these respondents said the number of children on their school’s SEND register had declined in the past year.
Thirty-three per cent said the number of children on their register had stayed the same after the reforms. And 4 per cent said the number had increased, Ms Curran will tell the British Educational Research Association annual conference today…
Ms Curran said: “This does beg the question: if SEN numbers are reduced, what has happened to the group who were previously identified as SEN, but are no longer?
“Were they incorrectly identified in the past, or are pressures on school resources – including support costs, time and staffing issues – playing a part?”
What do you think is going on here: is the DfE right to suggest too many children were wrongly identified as SEND previously?
Or have some schools used the reforms to cut costs by reducing the number of SEND children being supported?
Please let us know how you see things in the comments or via Twitter…
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