Inclusion: the role of special and mainstream schools

Shaw, Anne (2017) Inclusion: the role of special and mainstream schools. British Journal of Special Education, 44 (3). pp. 292-312. ISSN 0952-3383

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For children with special educational needs, seeds were sown for the move away from segregated settings to inclusion in mainstream settings following the 1978 Warnock Report. However, the ‘special versus mainstream school’ debate was re‐ignited in 2005 when Warnock recommended a more significant role for special schools than previously envisaged. Furthermore, an increase in special school placement has been reported, prompting this investigation of the role of special schools in the current climate of inclusion. Literature from Britain, Europe and New Zealand, including research that listens to ‘the voice of the child’, which compares experiences of children with special educational needs in special and mainstream schools, is reviewed. The findings give no clear indication that either setting leads to better outcomes. Tensions between the inclusion agenda and standards agenda are highlighted. It is concluded that special schools in reduced numbers are likely to remain a feature of the inclusive education system, with recommendations for the development of special–mainstream school partnership links. The quality of the setting, regardless of the type of setting, is emphasised, highlighting implications for staff training in special and mainstream schools. Further research comparing outcomes for children educated in different types of provision is recommended.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: inclusion, special school, mainstream school, child's voice
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2019 11:44
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2019 10:22
Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-8578.12181

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