With a General Election on the horizon and the main political parties competing to provide me with reasons not to vote for them, I thought I’d list 10 things they could focus on, relating to Special Education, that would capture my attention.
1. We will provide schools with a ‘Motor Control Premium’ to ensure that they are all able to afford to provide the most appropriate positioning equipment available to support pupils’ learning and physical development.
2. We will review the OfSTED practice of providing Special Schools with a grade 4 or a ‘*’ in the section on pupil attainment, therefore undermining the pupils’ achievements and the work of the school.
3. We will require all nationally organised structures within the ‘school led system’ to include proportionate representation of the Special Education sector.
4. We will ensure that Education ministers take a visible interest in the development and performance of Special Schools and reverse the recent trend in delegating this exclusively to Children and Families ministers.
5. We will establish a review into the effective evaluation of pupil progress in Special Schools in order to create a comparative framework which isn’t based poor quality data sets.
6. We will offer tax incentives to encourage a wide range of types and sizes of employers to employ people with learning disabilities and be supportive of individual need and capability, ensuring that supported apprenticeships lead to longer term employment opportunities.
7. We will establish to what extent there is an attainment gap in Special Schools based on pupils’ economic origin. If there is not then we will research what barriers pupils with learning disabilities do face as a result of coming from a low income background and empower schools to address them.
8. We will conduct a longitudinal evaluation of the extent to which Special schools have a sustained impact on their pupils, leading to the creation of a set of cross institutional and multi agency recommendations for maximising the application of pupil potential beyond school.
9. We will commission a meta analytical evaluation of the impact of Special schools, Alternative Provision, Resource Base provision and the co-location of Special Schools on inclusive opportunities, pupil outcomes and permanent exclusions.
10. We will……….
So what should number 10 be? Go on, you decide.