Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

supporting inclusion, challenging exclusion

responses to consultations 2007-08

November 2008

CSIE response to the Department for Children, Schools and Families open consultation on "Legislating for Sure Start Children's Centres", concerning the establishment of integrated early childhood services following the Childcare Act 2006.

CSIE has expressed its concern that this document makes no mention of disabled children and does not seek to enhance fully inclusive practice. In order to be credible, this new document must address the issue directly. Government policies in other departments now recommend inclusion in mainstream institutions as a basic right for all disabled adults: that is, the adult life for which "Sure Start" is meant to be a preparation. We know that segregation and social isolation have a negative impact on life-chances and well-being through childhood into adulthood. CSIE proposes that the new advisory boards should have a specific place for a parent of a child with significant disabilities, and that the policy should explicitly encourage parents towards mainstream under-5s provision and away from segregated ("special") schools.

back to top

October 2008

CSIE response to the Department for Children, Schools and Families open consultation on "Revised Statutory Guidance for local authorities in England to identify children not receiving a suitable education", aiming to offer practitioners information on implementing the duty to identify children not receiving a suitable education.

In its response, CSIE argued that responsibilities of schools need to be more explicit. A school which permanently excludes a pupil should retain the responsibility for certain things until he or she is in a new school (whether that period is spent in a PRU, youth offenders' unit or secure accommodation): for children with statements this should be the IEP and 6-monthly review, for children without statements it should be pastoral support. Likewise, every child receiving palliative care in hospital should be on the roll of a (mainstream) school supplying certain basic services. CSIE further recommended that the list of at-risk children should clearly identify those permanently excluded from special schools.

back to top

September 2008

CSIE response to the Department for Children, Schools and Families open consultation on School Admissions, which outlines proposed changes to make the admissions process for parents as fair, transparent and straightforward as possible.

CSIE noted that on the principle of “fair access” within this consultation, SEN has a section all to itself and that this represents the Department’s tacit acknowledgement that mainstream schools operate informal rejection policies of children with SEN labels. As a result of this, parents who want the mainstream place their child is entitled to, are often forced to accept a place inconsistent with their wishes, or go down the gruelling route of SEN Tribunal. Only when the levels of stress of these children and their parents over admissions are on average the same as for children without such labels will the “fair access” policy actually be fair. CSIE calls for all government documents and communications to schools on general admissions policies to contain an explicit reference to the Disability Discrimination Act.

back to top

September 2008

CSIE response to the Department for Children, Schools and Families consultation on the draft guidance on “Schools' Role in Promoting Pupil Well-being”, which offers guidance on schools’ role in promoting well-being of pupils at the school and on the support they can expect from their local authority and other partners in the Children’s Trust.

In its response, CSIE argued that the DCSF needs to be more directive to local authorities, in order to overcome the traditional and still prevalent professional divisions between education, health and social services, which affect particularly the well-being of children with SEN labels. Schools should recognise that the biggest threat to the well-being of these and certain other children is their vulnerability to social isolation: a fact not recognised in the consultation document, even though it is at the centre of other department’s policies for disabled adults and those with mental health problems. CSIE calls for the Department to require schools to use established techniques for the intentional fostering of friendships.

back to top

October 2007

CSIE response to the Department for Children, Schools and Families open consultation “Time to Talk”, aiming to find out what children, young people, their families and those who work with them think.

CSIE urges the government to confirm its commitment to inclusion, promote awareness and appreciation of diversity and to listen to the voice of minority and/or marginalised groups, as well as the voice of practitioners, in any serious review of educational provision. The Centre also suggests that the government should review current terminology, legislation and national guidance on inclusive education and should undertake a thorough review of mainstream provision, including class sizes, funding arrangements, teacher training and support structures, including the deployment of Learning Support Assistants.

back to top

April 2007

CSIE response to the Department for Education and Skills limited consultation on the draft guidance to Local Authorities on Planning and Developing Special Educational Provision

CSIE expresses grave concern over proposed suggestions to introduce a Special Educational Needs Improvement Test to support Local Authorities reviewing SEN provision. The Centre argues that this measure would seriously undermine the development of inclusive provision and reminds the government of the moral imperative to engage with the voice of the disabled community when reviewing SEN provision. CSIE argues that this guidance is fraught with assumptions and reflects a lack of shared vision by misrepresenting and/or overlooking existing government documents in which the development of inclusive education is endorsed and encouraged.

back to top

Note: some of the documents on this page are in PDF format. In order to view a PDF you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader

Page last updated: Sunday 20 May 2018

Support our work

Help us to continue promoting the development of inclusive education. Make a secure donation at BT MyDonate.

responses to consultations