Should we close special schools? This head teacher thinks so…

19 Feb

‘My view is that all children should be included in their local inclusive school making the need for special schools redundant. Plus, the DfE’s own statistics show that in 2009/2010 there were 14,910 fixed period exclusions from special schools which are also becoming increasingly selective in their admissions criteria.’

This comment was found in a recent Guardian article, written by a primary school head teacher. 

I do see his point. We all want children to be included in education, included in society, not segregated and made to feel ‘special’ as per the old fashioned way of educating children that did not quite fit the mould. 

BUT… Mr Utton…

Locked school gateI would like hear how you propose that we include children that are operating on P levels, with a working memory of a two year old, at the age of 11, into the classes in a mainstream school along with their peers. Moreover, I would love to hear you talk about how a teacher could effectively differentiate for that range of needs, all within the same classroom? 

We have a nurture group where they spend some of their time in a smaller, quiet atmosphere with a high level of adult intervention.

What happens when they get too 14-15 years old, and no longer want to be SPECIAL, and just want to be ‘with their mates’? 

I would like to know how you might include a child with moderate to severe autism into a mainstream class full of 35 screaming teenagers,whilst ensuring everyone is safe?

Our children with severe autism and Down’s Syndrome can be a handful and require significant adult support.

is this really promoting inclusion? the child being reliant on adults in order to integrate? 

I am very offended by his comment that he feels there is no place for special education. I am a firm believer in inclusion, but come on Mr Utton, ALL children cannot be educated in the same classroom environment, with the best will in the world! That is the beauty of special education, the environment is adapted to suit their needs, the curriculum also, enabling all the children to achieve their full potential. Many of our students actually progress to college links courses then post 16 courses at 18-19 yearsl old. 

There is no place for special education? I would like to challenge that, YES THERE IS!!!! 

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One Response to “Should we close special schools? This head teacher thinks so…”

  1. la chica de la burbuja February 22, 2013 at 02:07 #

    I agree with you. Some children cannot cope in a mainstream setting. Some parents specifically ask for special school setting for their children with additional needs. Clearly there needs to be a balance – one size does not fit all.

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