SEN POLICY RESEARCH FORUM next policy seminar:

‘Exclusions, barriers to admission and quality of mainstream provision for children and young people with SEND:  what can be done?


4 February 2019: 1.30 for 2-5pm: St Albans Centre, Leigh Place, Baldwin’s Gardens, London EC1N 7AB. How to get there at http://stalbanscentre.org/location/ 

There is increasing evidence that greater constraints on the mainstream school system (narrower curriculum and accountability; funding; governance changes) are creating issues for children with SEND and their families. There has been a rise in the number of permanent exclusions (with pupils with SEND being significantly over-represented), greater barriers to mainstream admission (reported by parents and voluntary organisations) and a significant rise in numbers of children being taught in a range of alternative settings (special schools, PRUs, independent Alternative Provision (AP) providers and at home).There is some emerging political recognition that the relentless push for academic standards is leading to casualties, not just for those with identified SEND, but also for other pupils who are experiencing increased stress and mental health issues. 

There are a number of national strands that are converging on this focus: 

  • The Timpson review of school exclusions
  • The Select Committee report on alternative provision: Forgotten children: alternative provision and the scandal of ever increasing exclusions’
  • The Select Committee SEND Inquiry
  • The DFE research on AP quality and the review of ‘AP systems’
  • Damian Hinds has been referring to inclusion in relation to school accountability   

This seminar will focus on: 1. Admissions; 2. meeting pupil needs and achieving positive outcomes and 3. exclusion: formal and informal 

The seminar will focus on future options in terms of

1. Regulations - what changes should be made to the existing statutory frameworks e.g. Child and Family Act, Disability Discrimination legislation etc., to ensure greater access for SEND?
2. Accountability - how might this work to ensure greater priority and recognition for inclusive practice?
3. Incentivisation - what are the current disincentives to include and how might these be addressed/incentives be increased to support or encourage more inclusive practice? 


Jules Daulby, Director of Education, Driver Youth trust

Dr Louise Gazeley, University of Sussex

Other presenters to be confirmed. 

To book a place please register for the seminar at send to R.K.Harwood@exeter.ac.uk 


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