Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

supporting inclusion, challenging exclusion

Are LEAs in England abandoning inclusive education?

The top five LEAs with the smallest percentage of pupils segregated in England in 2004 (low segregation) were:

  • Newham 0.06%
  • Rutland 0.23%
  • Nottinghamshire 0.45%
  • Nottingham 0.47%
  • Cumbria 0.49%

The top five LEAs with the highest percentage of pupils segregated in 2004 (high segregation) were:

  • South Tyneside 1.46%
  • Wirral 1.34%
  • Halton and Knowsley both 1.32%
  • Stoke-on-Trent 1.23%
  • Birmingham and Lewisham both 1.21%

Segregation trends - LEAs in England 2002-2004. Placement of pupils with statements in special schools and other segregated settings

Written by Dr Sharon Rustemier and Mark Vaughan OBE

New rankings of all local education authorities (LEAs) in England in the way they place pupils with statements of special educational needs, question authorities' commitment to inclusion, according to a report today from the independent Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE).

This new analysis of Government data by CSIE reveals that pupils in South Tyneside were 24 times more likely to be placed in special schools or other segregated settings than those in the London Borough of Newham in 2004.

In England as a whole, little progress towards inclusion was made during the period under review, 2002-2004. The percentage of 0-19 year olds placed in special schools and other segregated settings by LEAs fell from 0.84% in 2002 (103,721 pupils) to 0.82% in 2004 (101,612 pupils).

Mark Vaughan OBE, Founder & Co-Director, CSIE said:

'All LEAs are working to the same laws and regulations, which call for inclusion of disabled pupils. It is time for the Government to take a firmer hand and get the higher segregating authorities to develop stronger inclusion policies. If Newham can do it with academic and social success, then so can every other authority.'

Newham LEA, which has actively pursued a policy of inclusion in education for 21 years, placed 0.06% of its 0-19 year olds with statements in special schools and other segregated settings, while South Tyneside placed 1.46%.

'It is simply unfair and unjust for families that moves towards inclusion have been so slow, and that these variations still exist 22 years after the law to include disabled pupils in mainstream education first came into force'

said Mark Vaughan.

CSIE has written to Ruth Kelly MP, Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Skills, about these latest findings, calling for the Government to publicly re-state its commitment to inclusion in education, and to ensure appropriate incentives and finances are available for schools and LEAs to make the necessary changes to reduce segregation.

Low segregating LEAs

The top five positions of LEAs with the smallest percentage of pupils segregated in England in 2004 (low segregation) were: Newham 0.06%, Rutland 0.23%, Nottinghamshire 0.45%, Nottingham 0.47% and Cumbria 0.49%.

The top 20 positions of LEAs with LOWEST percentages of pupils in special schools and other segregated settings in 2004:
Position LEA Percentage of pupils in special schools and other segregated settings
1 Newham 0.06
2 Rutland 0.23
3 Nottinghamshire 0.45
4 Nottingham 0.47
5 Cumbria 0.49
6 Barnsley 0.5
East Riding of Yorkshire
7 Havering 0.51
Herefordshire
8 Cornwall 0.52
Somerset
9 Leicestershire 0.54
10 Leeds 0.55
11 Calderdale 0.57
Derbyshire
12 North Yorkshire 0.6
13 Harrow 0.61
14 Suffolk 0.62
Wiltshire

High segregating LEAs

The top five positions of LEAs with the highest percentage of pupils segregated in 2004 (high segregation) were: South Tyneside 1.46%, Wirral 1.34%, Halton and Knowsley both 1.32%, Stoke-on-Trent 1.23%, and Birmingham and Lewisham both 1.21%.

The top 21 LEAs with HIGHEST percentages of pupils in special schools and other segregated settings in 2004:
Position LEA Percentages of pupils in special schools and other segregated settings
1 South Tyneside 1.46
2 Wirral 1.34
3 Halton 1.32
Knowsley
4 Stoke-on-Trent 1.23
5 Birmingham 1.21
Lewisham
6 Brighton & Hove 1.2
7 Manchester 1.16
Middlesborough
Rotherham
8 Coventry 1.15
9 Torbay 1.14
10 North Tyneside 1.11
Trafford
11 Durham 1.10
Staffordshire
12 Gateshead 1.09
Southend-on-Sea
Sunderland

Mark Vaughan added:

'In 2005 there are very many people in this country who regret the slow pace of inclusion in schools and families in particular are disturbed by the postcode lottery of segregation/inclusion for their disabled children. Inclusion of disabled pupils is a human rights issue, not a passing fashion, in spite of the current, heated, national debate prompted by Baroness Warnock. It is time for Government to embrace inclusion in education fully as a long-term rights commitment and goal, so that inclusion of disabled people in education and later in mainstream society can become a reality.'

Page last updated: Monday 05 August 2013

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