Schools ‘taking overly macho approach to excluding pupils with SEND’

Some schools are taking an “overly macho” approach to excluding pupils with SEND, MPs were told today. Tes reports

The Commons education select committee, which is conducting an inquiry into special educational needs and disability (SEND) education, heard concerns from local authority chief executives that the pressures on schools worked against inclusion in some cases.

The authorities also said they needed powers to place children with special educational needs in certain schools

Richard Flinton, chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, told MPs that as well as the accountability system, certain leadership styles, acted against inclusion in some cases.

“And there’s also sometimes an overly macho, no tolerance approach in some schools – and those schools that get into difficulties and are trying to recover from a difficult Ofsted position it’s almost an easy leadership behaviour that you see in some places.”

Steve Rumbelow, chief executive of Rochdale Borough Council, told the committee “Fundamentally, there needs to be a duty on the schools to work with the local authority that has a statutory responsibility…there needs to be a duty to provide education in a normal setting, and the LA needs to powers to make sure that happens and we don’t have those powers.”

And the current Ofsted inspection criteria does not help, said John Henderson, chief executive of Staffordshire County Council.

He told MPs: “I think the Ofsted inspection criteria plays against keeping children in mainstream. In Staffordshire we see too many children in special schools, too many in privately-funded education and not enough staying in mainstream.”

Read more Schools ‘taking overly macho approach to excluding pupils with SEND’

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