(UK) MORE on the THOUSANDS of SPED students denied a place in school

Oct 23, 2018, Guardian: Thousands of children with special needs excluded from schools Thousands of children with special educational needs and disabilities are waiting for a school place or are being educated at home, and many more are excluded, prompting fears that schools in England are becoming less inclusive. According to Guardian analysis of Department for Education statistics, just under 4,500 pupils with statutory rights to special needs support were awaiting suitable provision or being home-schooled at the start of the year. Campaigners say the real figure is far higher because the DfE data does not include Send pupils who don’t have a special needs statement or an education health and care plan, documents that guarantee their statutory rights to additional support. More than 1.2 million children, or about 15% or all students in England have some kind of special educational need, but only about 253,000 have special educational needs statements or education health and care plans…. DfE data shows the number of Send students “awaiting provision”, or waiting for a school place that meets the requirements of their plan, rose from 701 in 2010 to 2,060 at the start of this year. About 2,400 other students were not at school because their parents had made “other arrangements”, which generally means home education. This figure increased by 77% during the same period, up from 1,355 in 2010. One mother, whose 13-year-old autistic daughter has been out of school for 10 months and is now awaiting a placement at a specialist school, described the challenges of trying to home-educate. “It’s a difficult thing to do. I’ve had to put my life on hold,” she said…. “These children are being denied the educational opportunities others take for granted, because of a broken Send system that’s starved of cash and by a promised culture change that’s failed to materialise.”… Research by the charity Ambitious About Autism has revealed the impact of school exclusions on family life. A survey of 900 parents and carers of children with autism found that 30% had been forced to give up their job as a result, 29% said they had missed days from work and 20% had gone part-time. Parents who took part in the survey also reported an increase in unlawful exclusions, with 56% saying their child had been sent home early, asked to work on a reduced timetable or banned from a school trip without an official letter being received, up from 45% in 2016….