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(UK) BBC looks into isolation of SPED students; fails to see the real problem

Nov 12, 2018, Independent: Hundreds of children spent whole school week in isolation booths, data finds https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/isolation-booths-school-pupils-classroom-behaviour-special-educational-needs-bbc-a8630391.html More than 200 children were placed in isolation booths for a whole school week last year, a new investigation has revealed. And around 5,000 children with special educational needs last year attended isolation rooms – which are facilities that pupils are sent to when they are removed from a classroom, BBC News found. A behavioural consultant, who has seen children with Asperger’s and ADHD in isolation and who has met a child who spent 36 days away from class in one school year, said this is “not education”. More than 1,000 secondary schools across the UK were sent Freedom of Information requests by the BBC asking how they use isolation rooms – and approximately 600 of them responded. While many had rules for children spending a maximum of one, two or three continuous days in isolation, the investigation found that 225 pupils in England spent a whole school week in isolation last year – which can include partitioned desks where children face the wall and work in silence. … And some schools use the practice far more extensively than others. For example, one school had five separate isolation rooms, each permanently staffed at an annual cost of more than £170,000. [$218,000 US dollars]. … One child claimed he had spent three months on his own in a classroom last year where his work was rarely marked and he was often without a teacher. However his school said he was “regularly disruptive” and it disputed the length of time he spent there. The school also said the room was not specifically used for isolation. … But Tom Bennett, the independent adviser on behaviour to the Department for Education (DfE), argues that isolation can be effective in tackling disruption in classrooms. …