'1 in 5 teachers aware of illegal SEND exclusions'

Interim survey findings show that 20 per cent of teachers are 'aware of illegal exclusions within their setting'

Will Hazell & Helen Ward

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One in five teachers are aware of illegal exclusions of students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) within their educational setting, according to interim survey findings.

The NEU teaching union surveyed members on SEND provision in schools – and interim findings from the survey were shared at a Westminster Education Forum event in London today.

According to a slide shown at the event, 20 per cent of respondents to the poll were "aware of illegal exclusions within their setting".

The news follows a report by Ofsted last month which found that an “alarming number” of parents have said that their schools are using unofficial exclusions as a means of dealing with pupils.

'Negative impact'

Other findings from the survey were that "high workload, inadequate funding and a lack of training" had combined to "undermine the quality of provision". 

The slide says that the school funding crisis is "hitting children with SEND and the staff that support them the hardest", with "reductions in support staff and in school resources" having a "negative impact on provisions".

It adds that "teacher workload associated with delivering SEND provision is increasing", and "many do not feel that they have suitable training to adequately support children with SEND". 

Anne Heavey, education policy advisor at the NEU, told the event: "There is a funding crisis in education, and children with SEND and staff working to support children with SEND are at the frontline of those cuts."

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