Special needs cuts 'affect mainstream'
Headteachers said recent highly- publicised cases involving disruptive pupils had shown that the need for special schools remained.
They claimed there were significant consequences on mainstream schools as a result of the closure of 273 special schools since 1987.
The NAHT leadership, in a report to conference, said that integration of pupils with special needs into mainstream schools was laudable, but it had three main worries why it might be inappropriate in some cases: * the complexity of the needs and the specialism of the education required; * the need to avoid prejudicing the education of the peer group; * the efficient use of limited resources.
Last year, a report prepared by Coopers Lybrand warned about an "SEN time-bomb" and revealed local authorities were spending Pounds 2.5 billion on special needs.
The NAHT now wants a review of the way special needs are met and funded.
It has also called on the Government to set up a new agency to co-ordinate special needs policies and ensure that the full range of provision is available across England and Wales.