The Secretary of State for the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), has announced measures to prevent the disproportionate exclusion of disabled children from schools. Local authorities now have new government guidance to deal with the issue and manage behavioural problems early.
Among the proposals Ed Balls outlined were:
* testing easier ways of assessing pupils with special needs or disabilities
* reviewing the number of teachers trained to meet the needs of students with severe learning disabilities
* providing new guidance for schools to tackle high exclusions of children with special educational needs
Ed Balls said: ‘It is still the case that children with special educational needs are more than eight times as likely to be excluded, that some parents can find it hard to access the right support for their child and that pupils with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties need even more teachers with the right level of expertise. These measures will tackle these concerns’. An inquiry chaired by Brian Lamb, resulted in the measures being drawn up. The inquiry’s final report will be published in October. Toby Salt from the National College for School Leadership has been appointed to review the supply of teachers of pupils with special educational needs, while the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) will run a £550,000 project to develop best practice in certain schools for children with the most complex difficulties. Mr Salt said: ‘This review will help ensure some of the most vulnerable and complex learners in our system have the focus they deserve.’