Tories call for review of mainstreaming in schools

According to ITV, a policy presumption to place pupils with additional support needs in mainstream schools should be reformed, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Since 2002, it has been a legal requirement in Scotland for pupils to be taught in a mainstream setting unless certain exemptions apply.

In a debate at Holyrood on Wednesday, the Tories will argue for their motion, stating a “growing number of young people with special educational needs are not being well served by being placed in inclusive mainstream education”.

The party wants the Scottish Government to review the presumption to mainstream policy to ensure there is “more effective uptake of places in special schools and special units”.

The latest Scottish Government statistics from December showed more than a quarter (28.7%) of pupils – 199,065 – had a recorded additional support need in 2018, up 2.1 percentage points on the previous year.

A survey by learning disability organisation Enable Scotland in 2016 found of the 204 responses from the educational workforce most (60%) believed the mainstream presumption sometimes got it right but not for every child.

More than one in five (22%) said the policy is not right, 3% believed it is and 13% responded it is correct but more work is needed.

Read more Tories call for review of mainstreaming in schools

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