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(UK) Plymouth: Plan to mainstream special ed students; special schools 'bursting at the seams'

Nov 13, 2023, Plymouth Live: Plan to place Plymouth SEN children in mainstream schools Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, which inspected the Plymouth Local Area Partnership in June, found failings in key areas

SW England

A focus on placing children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools in Plymouth as special schools “burst at the seams” forms part of

a “robust” action plan to address failings in the system.

And mainstream schools already managing their SEND children well within their existing budgets will be asked to share best practice, Plymouth city councillors were told this week.

Its cabinet member for education Cllr Sally Cresswell (Lab, Stoke) said there are some great examples in the city of schools working within budget to provide the right education and support for SEND children through professionalism and creative teaching.

She told the education and children’s social care overview and scrutiny committee that the aim is for all schools to be as inclusive as possible and for the city to have fewer children with education, health and care plans (EHC) in the future….

They said that SEND children were not identified early, some miss out on health checks and pupils in Plymouth are more likely to be permanently excluded from school than the national average. The council, together with health providers and schools and colleges which make up the partnership, was asked to address the failures urgently.

A new independently chaired Plymouth SEND improvement board will meet every six weeks to oversee the action plan, providing regular reports to the scrutiny committee.

Cllr Terri Beer (Ind, Plympton Erle) said the biggest concern in her area is some children not getting a place at a school at all. A protest was held in Plymouth recently as part of a national campaign for change at which parents spoke about the “soul-destroying battles” they face to get school places.

“The special schools are bursting at the seams. They could take on another 70 children if they had capacity to do that,” said Cllr Beer. “There are some children who do not have a place in any school and that is not right, is it? I am also worried that schools are struggling to cope because they do not have the wrap-around care for SEND pupils which puts a strain on the delivery of education for those who want to learn and puts these young people way behind.”

Interim service director of education, participation and skills, Annie Gammon, said if the council was investing in capital buildings it needs to make sure it is for the right need. A drop in primary pupil numbers meant there would be more space available in primary schools and she expected there to be extensions to some special and mainstream schools. A strategy is expected in the next month on this.

She said an increasing number of children have needs that cannot be currently catered for and that years of isolation because of the pandemic has presented new challenges.
“We are looking at funding more places in mainstream schools with a higher banding of SEND provision. We want our schools to be as inclusive as possible without disrupting the whole class.”

1 comentário

Forced, involuntary "mainstreaming" is true ableism and abuse. This thing erupted since 1986 with Ronald Reagan, another 33rd or similar "good man who was fooled" of course. By the same people who still believe that the world's incredible "European" structures were absolutely "built in a couple of years with horses and wagons, without any power tools/built by tiny ordinary humans" rather than the Nephilim/fallen angels or similar supernatural beings or that the earth is a "tiny spinning ball round' a gigantic sun" (the latter lie, has its roots in the Kabbalah and NASA. Found everywhere, even in homeschool astronomy textbooks too).

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