Investment into the education of children with special needs or disabilities is at a critical point, judging by recent findings from The Key, the national leadership and management support service to schools in England and Wales.
Their study, which surveyed 1,100 school leaders, found that mainstream schools in England are struggling to support the 1 million pupils with special needs or disabilities, evident through the delays to assessments, inadequate budgets, and cuts to local authorities.
The report found that 90 per cent of school leaders thought council service cuts had a “detrimental impact” on the support given to their institutions, and 88 per cent believe initial teacher training fails to prepare teachers adequately to support pupils with special needs.
Three quarters of those polled knew of pupils who has been waiting longer than the expected six week period for a needs assessment or a new education, health, and care plan, which replaced statements in September 2014.
In addition to this, The Key’s research suggested 82 per cent of mainstream schools in England have insufficient funding to adequately provide for pupils.
The survey throws further light on the fears held over the current funding system, with 68 per cent of respondents calling for an increased focus on children with special needs or disabilities in education policymaking.