Comprehensive failure exposed

5th January 2001 at 00:00
As I read your article "The best inspection ever" (TES, December 22) I had cause yet again to wonder why the Government is so set on including children of all abilities in mainstream schools, when the "best ever" results for a comprehensive school are that 85 per cent of teaching is good or better.

This is low scoring indeed compared to many of the country's special schools.

In our recent Office for Standards in Education report, teaching was termed "very good or better" in 79 per cent of lessons. Teaching was "very good" overall in every area of this all-age school for pupils with severe learning difficulties.

While mainstream education will continue to be a viable option for soe pupils with special needs, the argument for inclusive education should not suggest that special education is a last resort to be considered only after attempts at inclusion have failed.

Special education is an excellent alternative to mainstream for the lucky minority of pupils who are fortunate enough to secure a place at a special school. Pupils in our schools receive an excellent education from dedicated and enthusiastic teachers, accredited qualifications and develop the life skills, self-esteem and confidence to enable them to play as full a part in society as society will allow.

Judith Chamberlain Headteacher Lakeside School, Lemsford Lance Welwyn Garden City, Herts

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now