Surveyed Teachers: Some Kids Should Be In Separate Schools
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 18, 2005
LONDON, ENGLAND--While a majority of teachers in England and Wales believe that children with disabilities should be included in classrooms with other children, a smaller majority believe that at least some should be taught in segregated, specialized schools, primarily because the current system is under-funded.
The Times Educational Supplement last Friday published the results of an extensive survey in which surveyors questioned 511 classroom teachers and 206 head teachers about the government's policy of encouraging inclusive education and closing special schools.
Nearly two-thirds of teachers and three-quarters of head teachers felt most children with disabilities should be included in mainstream schools. However, 65 percent of secondary school head teachers and 31 percent of primary school head teachers believed some of their students should not be included in regular classrooms.
Many of the teachers were critical of the lack of government resources and training on how to teach students with mental, physical and behavioral disabilities. More than one-third said they received no specialized training, while another one-fourth said they received just one day of training. Only 12 percent of head teachers and 36 percent of classroom teachers said their school had enough resources to be able to include children with special needs.
In the past eight years, 93 special schools have closed in England as the government has supported full inclusion of students with disabilities in regular classrooms.
Earlier this year, Baroness Mary Warnock, a pioneer of inclusive education in the 1970s and 80s, announced that the current system was failing students.
"Thousands 'better off' in special schools" (Times Educational Supplement)
"Poll finds teachers at odds with government's inclusion policy" (The Guardian)
"Special needs 'under-resourced'" (BBC News)