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ERIC Number: ED502592
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 174
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 99
ISBN: ISBN-1-8447-8388-X
Admissions and Exclusions of Pupils with Special Educational Needs. RR608
Wilkin, Anne; Archer, Tamsin; Ridley, Kate; Fletcher-Campbell, Felicity; Kinder, Kay
National Foundation for Educational Research
This research project, which was carried out between October 2003 and November 2004, aimed to address a lack of empirical evidence surrounding the admission and exclusion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN). While the relevant legislation and government targets are directed towards the equal treatment of pupils, regardless of their level of ability or particular need, and the government is positively promoting inclusion, there was yet unease, illustrated largely in anecdotal evidence, some case-study work, and other evidence, that some vulnerable children were disadvantaged by schools' policies. The research explored schools' admissions and exclusions policies and practices with regard to pupils with SEN, in order to consider whether this was the case. The research took place between the end of 2003 and late 2004. There were four elements to the study: (1) Statistical analysis of Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) data to establish patterns of permanent exclusions in relation to pupils with SEN, and to identify high-, medium- and low-excluding authorities for the case-study work; (2) Systematic literature review of the evidence base in the area of schools' admissions and exclusions policies in relation to pupils with SEN (both with and without statements); (3) Case-study work involving local education authority (LEA) officers from six LEAs (two high-excluding, two medium-excluding and two low-excluding authorities); and (4) Case-study work in 17 schools (primary, secondary and special), from across the six LEAs, and in one pupil referral unit within each of these LEAs. Overall, the research found no evidence in the case-study schools of systematic discrimination or unfavourable treatment of pupils with SEN in the annual admissions process. Schools did not have an opportunity to do this, as information about pupil needs was not available when the admissions criteria were being applied. Recommendations for LEAs include: (1) Consider whether information about pupils with SEN school action/plus can be made available as soon as the admissions lists are confirmed; (2) Give schools the confidence to discuss their reluctance to admit pupils with SEN and should support schools to expand their capacity to meet the needs of particular pupils; and (3) Monitor casual admissions with respect to pupils' SEN and try to ensure that schools that take on pupils mid-year are given the necessary financial resources or specialist support. Schools are encouraged to continue to develop transition arrangements and try to ensure that staff are able to visit primary/feeder schools to gather information about pupil needs and strategies that have been found to be effective for them. Two appendixes are included: (1) Literature Review; and (2) Technical Paper. (Contains 3 footnotes, 1 figure, and 2 tables.) [Produced by the Department for Education and Skills.]
National Foundation for Educational Research. The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ, UK. Tel: +44-1753-574123; Fax: +44-1753-637280; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Foundation for Educational Research
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)