It's about time we came to our SENses
There are very simple ways to determine whether children attending schools in deprived areas have "genuine" SEN or simply need extra support for other (non-SEN) reasons; try routine early screening and speedier diagnostic assessments.
Simple screening by the end of key stage 1 would help to identify a significant number of children at risk of experiencing learning difficulties, whatever their background, while timely diagnostic assessments confirm whether a condition exists so that appropriate action can be taken swiftly.
Surely it is much more cost-effective as a society to invest money at the "front end" of our education systems for the identification and support for those with SEN, than to perpetuate a system of "failure" and "fire fighting" that costs millions of pounds in state benefits, probation and prison services.
Julie Cappleman, Parent of dyslexic child and chair of Dyslexia Information Group in Tamworth (Dig-iT).