Thursday, 9 May 2019

Brent should invest in mainstream support for disabled pupils to ensure better outcomes - not alternative provision free school

This is the presentation made on behalf of Simone Aspis at theis evening's Scrutiny Committe which discussed the proposal for alternative free school provision at the Roundwood Centre:

Establishing an Alternative Provision Free Special school, which is just another special school for disabled pupils with special education needs will only limit future opportunities for this group of pupils. The evidence shows that disabled pupils, often with undiagnosed mental health issues, autism or neuropsychological conditions, educated in the segregated education system, such as in PRUs, are more likely than their mainstream school peers to experience poorer outcomes.

The government’s latest destinations data, focusing on pupils finishing their GCSEs in 2012/13, shows that nearly half (45 per cent) of young people leaving PRUs were not in education, employment, or training six months after the end of their compulsory schooling, compared to only 6 per cent of students leaving mainstream schools, and 11 per cent leaving special schools.

Furthermore, more than 50 per cent of Disabled young people with learning difficulties entering the criminal justice system said they had attended a special school at some point in their education, and similar numbers had been excluded from school. Thus, the evidence shows that Disabled pupils are at least twice as likely to be engaged in education, employment, or training if they attended a mainstream rather than a special school for Disabled pupils. What is needed is greater investment in mainstream education that is inclusive of everyone including disabled pupils.

This investment will ensure that disabled pupils will remain in mainstream education where they have better outcomes.

Simone Aspis Brent Resident in Willesden Green and Changing Perspectives Director

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