Click here to skip to content

Welfare reform on the Web (June 2007): Education - UK - schools

Consulting with children and young people who have disabilities: views of accessibility to education

R.C. Woolfson and others

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 34, 2007, p. 40-49

The Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils’ Records) (Scotland) Act 2002 requires local authorities to prepare and implement an accessibility strategy to improve access to education for young people with disabilities. This article reports the response of one local authority to this challenge. It describes consultation with disabled children and young people about access to education. The results of a postal questionnaire and focus groups confirm that consultation in this context can be meaningful and effective when appropriate methods are used. Young people have sincere opinions about access to education and consulting them can provide local authorities with greater insight into possible areas for improvement.

The impact of school choice in England: implications from the economic evidence

S. Burgess, C. Propper and D. Wilson

Policy Studies, vol. 28, 2007, p. 129-143

The extension of school choice is an essential part of Labour government policy in its third term in office. It is thought that giving parents the ability to choose applies competitive pressure to schools and will force them raise their game to attract pupils. This article subjects this assumption to the scrutiny provided by the theoretical and empirical evidence on school choice, and then uses the evidence to examine the potential impact of current policies to extend choice being proposed by the Labour government. The authors reach three main conclusions. First, increasing school choice will create losers as well as winners - poor children will have a better chance of attending good schools, but middle class owners will see the value of houses near popular schools fall. Second, flexibility in the supply of school places is key to the success of the policy - popular schools will need to be able to expand quickly to meet demand. Finally, the role of peer groups will partly determine the effects of school choice.

Inclusion and achievement in mainstream schools

P. Farrell and others

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol. 22, 2007, p. 131-145

This study looked for evidence on whether or not inclusive schools do better or worse than less inclusive ones in terms of academic attainment. It combined analysis of data from the National Pupil Database (NPD) with a series of site visits to inclusive primary and secondary schools. No evidence was found from statistical analyses of NPD data that inclusion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) impacted negatively on overall levels of attainment in schools to any significant degree. The case studies of successful inclusive schools showed that they used a range of strategies for driving up achievement that were not hampered by the presence of pupils with SEN. Moreover, they did not “dump” such pupils in mainstream classes, but employed sophisticated systems of flexible and indivdualised provision.

Isolate and educate

S. Gillen

Community Care, May 24th 2007, p. 18-19

There is a growing trend for children’s homes to provide education on-site, either in a separate school in the grounds or in the home itself. Sixty-three homes were registered as independent schools with the Department for Education and Skills in 2005-06, compared to 16 in 2004-05. As a result, more looked after children are being taught in isolated locations outside the mainstream system.

Re-forming the teaching work force: the case of the academic coach

C. Hall and B. Youens

Educational Review, vol. 59, 2007, p. 161-178

In order to reduce pressure on teachers, the government has expanded the role of support staff in schools in England and Wales. In this context, the paper examines the experiences and expectations of a group of 13 “academic coaches” appointed to temporary teaching support roles in challenging inner city secondary schools. Conclusions are drawn about the importance of professional recognition of these newly emerging roles.

Remodelling policy and practice: the challenge for staff working with children with special educational needs

C. Szwed

Educational Review, vol. 59, 2007, p. 147-160

Internationally and in the UK there is a significant move towards inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream settings. The UK government has sought to redefine the role of the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) in the light of this policy shift. The SENCO is required not only to possess skills in teaching children with special needs, but also to be able to use a range of management and leadership techniques. There is real concern that in many schools SENCOs are overwhelmed by paperwork and bureaucracy. This article presents three case studies of the role of SENCOs in primary schools.

The role of special schools for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties: is segregation always best?

B. Simmons and P. Bayliss

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 34, 2007, p. 19-24

It is generally agreed that special schools are the most appropriate setting for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) who operate at a preverbal level of development. This research highlights how one highly-regarded special school in South West England for children with severe learning difficulties provided an inappropriate environment for children with PMLD as a result of lack of staff knowledge and training. It also emphasises the social limitations of the school. The paper concludes by suggesting that a more critical attitude towards special schools is needed as well as a reconsideration of the generalisation that children with PMLD cannot benefit from mainstream education.

'The Tribunal was the most stressful thing: more stressful than my son’s diagnosis or behaviour': the experiences of families who go to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDisT)

K. Runswick-Cole

Disability and Society, vol.22, 2007, p. 315-328

The Special Educational Needs Tribunal was established in 1994 as an independent panel to arbitrate in disputes between parents and local education authorities. In 2002 the Tribunal began hearing claims for disability discrimination and became known as the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. This article considers the social, emotional and financial impact on the family of going to the Tribunal in a context where they may already experience social and financial disadvantage.

Values and visibility: the implementation and assessment of citizenship education in schools

M.A. Pike

Educational Review, vol. 59, 2007, p. 215-229

In September 2002 citizenship became a new statutory foundation subject in English secondary schools with a minimum 5% of curriculum time allocated to help pupils between the ages of 11 and 16 become 'informed' and 'active' citizens by developing skills of 'enquiry and communication' and 'participation and responsible action'. Citizenship education concerns itself with how young people should be taught to live in a liberal democracy. It aims to influence actions, behaviour, values, dispositions and commitments as well as cultivating knowledge and skills. It is argued in this article that an integrated cross-curricular approach is most appropriate given the breadth of such aims.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web