Porter J., Daniels H.
UK, Bath, University of Bath,


Инклюзивное образование: практика, исследования, методология: Сб. материалов II Международной
научно-практической конференции / Отв. ред. Алехина
С. В. М.: МГППУ, 2013


The report from which this paper is derived surveyed published research and other evidence on the following:

• Regulation of the field: legislation, policy and practice

• The prevalence of children with special educational needs (SEN)

• Attitudes, discrimination and bias

• Support for children with special educational needs

• Approaches to teaching

• Collaborative and multi-agency working

• SEN and exclusion

• Evaluating provision

Regulation of the field: legislation, policy and practice

This is a highly contested arena containing strong (often single interest) lobby groups, practitioners and their professional associations as well as government. Developments have been convoluted and the pace of change has been slow.

• There has been a move from the policies and practices of segregation to the integration of individual pupils and thence to debates about systemic responsiveness to the broad diversity of pupil need.

• Despite the rhetoric of policy documents, nationally collected statistics suggest that after a period of growth in the numbers of statemented pupils(the formal legal recognition of SEN), we have now reached a time when there is a relatively stable proportion of children who are identified as requiring additional resources.

• Statutory guidance allows for a very high degree of local interpretation over the identification of pupil needs together with a lack of consistent thresholds at which the local authority takes over financial responsibility for the child’s special needs in education.

• Local interpretations often arise as tradeoffs between competing policy agendas of raising standards and the development of inclusive practices.

Prevalence of children with special educational needs

The data on prevalence need to be viewed as a reflection of practice rather than incidence. Changes in approaches to official collection of data make detailed tracking of change problematic.

• Over the last five years there has been a decrease in the numbers and percentage of pupils with statements placed in primary schools. The proportion of children with statements placed in special schools has increased by just over 0.5 per cent.

• The level of statementing in primary schools has been consistent at 1.6 per cent of pupils.

• There is considerable variation between local authorities (2006 figures for statementing range from 0.3 to 3.1 per cent).

• In 2006 the most prevalent group with respect to statements were children with speech, languageand communication difficulties (22.5 per cent), followed by children with autism (17.6 per cent) andchildren with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (12.1 per cent).

• The proportion of children with special education needs but no statements has steadily increasedand in 2006 formed 17.6 per cent of the primary school population with a peak during the primaryyears in Year 4 (8-9 year olds) of 21.3 per cent.

Attitudes, discrimination and bias

In practice, tensions between the policy agendas of raising standards of pupil attainment andachieving inclusive schooling can give rise to considerable difficulties within the school. The attitudesof teachers, parents and pupils are central to developing inclusive practices, yet data on therelationship between positive teacher attitudes and professional burn-out are evidence of thechallenges that teachers face in this area. There is evidence of inequalities in the system.

• There is a higher incidence of identification and support of special needs among boys than girls,both with and without statements.

• Children from professional homes are more likely to receive support than children from manualworking class homes, taking into account measured comparabilities in reading, mathematics andsocial adjustment.

• After controlling for socio-economic disadvantage, gender and year group, it would appear thatchildren from some minority ethnic groups are more likely to be identified as having specialeducational needs; and some groups are more likely to be identified as having particular forms ofspecial need.

Support for special educational needs, approaches to teaching and collaborative working

• The mainstay of support for teachers in primary schools has long been the special educationalneeds co-ordinator (SENCO). In primary schools this role may be taken on by the head or deputy.When this happens it can be difficult to manage the limited time available and meet the demandsof procedures for external accountability. A number of key elements have been identified toencourage the move to a more proactive SENCO role, most notably in the development of a clearvalues position that emphasises pupils’ entitlement to success, achievement and the fulfilment ofindividual potential coupled with the review and development of processes of teaching andlearning.

• Research suggests that approaches to teaching pupils with learning difficulties are not muchdifferent from effective practice for all children, but that more careful assessment and moreopportunities for practice and learning transfer are needed. However, it may be necessary forteachers to have access to the knowledge that underpins the use of these accommodations inorder that their practice can be confident and informed. They need to be able to share thisknowledge with teaching assistants and to be effective in managing this important aspect ofclassroom support.

• There is much to be gained from more collaborative forms of practice, with professionals workingtogether across boundaries both within and outside school. This has been found to be particularly effective for children with conduct disorders and those at risk of mental health problems, twogroups which are most at risk of exclusion. Special schools may have the potential to act as are source but their role in contributing to a continuum of inclusive provision is under-developed.

Special educational needs and exclusion

The faltering progress towards inclusion is also reflected in exclusion rates.

• Pupils with special educational needs are more likely to be excluded, particularly during the primary school years. Pupils with behavioral difficulties are most at risk of exclusion.

• Exclusion is likely to slow the formal process of assessment and inevitably exacerbates the child’s difficulties, often exerting a considerable impact on their life after school.

• The primary school has a key role to play in the prevention of social exclusion, and this is reflectedin their growing social work responsibilities.

Evaluating provision

• The complexity and challenge of evaluating provision is demonstrated by the paucity of goodresearch evidence, with limited intervention studies and little research which has investigated the characteristics of schools that are both effective and inclusive.

• Evaluating provision in relation to narrowly-defined attainment outcomes marginalises furtherthose pupils who experience difficulties in learning.

• The development of pupil voice has an important contribution to make to our understanding ofmeaningful outcomes and could more prominently inform research evidence on the effectiveness of different types of intervention.

• To move the field forward, research and policy must focus on processes rather than simplyoutcomes, including the identification of mechanisms for change.

Conclusions and Implications

• Identification of children with special educational needs is resource driven, regulated by statutoryguidance, and open to a multiplicity of interpretations and practices across local authorities and geographical regions. Practices of identification and assessment are constrained and restricted bylocal priorities for provision. There are inequities within the system with respect to gender, classand ethnicity, and as a result of the influence of single-interest lobby groups certain SEN groupsare over-represented. All this adds up to an excessive degree of variation in what should be aconsistent and equitable system.

• There is also much to recommend the provision of sufficient flexibility in the system to allow forlocal responses. However, this is predicated on the availability of a full and functioning continuumof provision including inclusive primary schools where SENCOs have the time to facilitate wholeschool responses and where teachers are well placed to engage in problem-solving collaborative practices.

• The uncertain progress towards fully inclusive primary schools is evidenced by an increase in the proportion of statemented children in special schools as well as an increase in the numbers of children for whom schools request extra help. We have also noted that children with special educational needs are much more likely than their peers to be excluded from school. These findings suggest that teachers are finding it increasingly difficult to support children with special educational needs in mainstream primary schools. There is a need to support schools as they strive to provide for children’s needs rather than simply deliver acurriculum.

• Given the paucity of evidence for effective teaching approaches for children with special educational needs we suggest that:

-       teachers need expertise and support to make adjustments and adaptations to their teaching practices in the context of inclusion;

-       there is a need to look more closely at whether the shift towards more whole-classteaching is contributing to the higher prevalence of children with particular needs;

-       it is important to create the conditions in which teachers can focus on the processes of learning and an appropriate diversity of outcome measures.

• The compatibility and consistency of policy and regulations emanating from government and itsagencies should be reviewed, and care should be taken to align these with stated commitments tochildren with disabilities and difficulties. A key issue is the tension between, on the one hand, competitive education markets based on school league tables and narrowly-conceived measures of pupil attainment and, on the other, a broadly-based account of inclusive schooling within the‘whole child’ remit of local authority children’s services. This tension is fundamental to current policy and it needs to be resolved.