Special needs then and now

24th October 1997 at 01:00
In January 1997 * 1.5 million children (18 per cent) had some form of special need.

* 233,000 children (2.8 per cent) had a statement of special need (161, 000 in 1992).

* 58 per cent of children with statements were taught in mainstream schools compared to 44 per cent in 1992.

* Almost all children with special needs and without statements are taught in mainstream schools.

* Around Pounds 2.5 billion is spent each year on special needs provision.

(source - DFEE)

1978 Warnock Report defined concept of special educational needs; suggested 20 per cent of children had an SEN, with 2 per cent needing statements; established principle of mainstream inclusion where possible.

1981 Education Act (based on Warnock): introduced statements with right of appeal to local authority, but process criticised as too long, bureaucratic and inefficient. SEN provision across country seen as sporadic; LEAs complain of lack of resources and Government support.

1988 Education Reform Act. National curriculum and local management of schools put further pressure on SEN provision; league tables blamed for rising exclusions, linked to increase in children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

1993 Education Act attempted to streamline and address effects of 1988 reforms. New six-month limit on statement process; independent appeal tribunal created; SEN co-ordinator in every school. Five levels of SEN defined: levels 1-3 in mainstream; level 4 under assessment for statement; level 5 child with statement. Changes supported in principle, but co-ordinators complained of lack of support and resources. Steep rise in numbers of statements and appeals.

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

Comments

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