Press releases

Press Release: Response to Government Announcement of 39 New Special Schools

The Alliance for Inclusive Education condemns the government’s mass expansion of segregated education, including the establishment of 39 new special academy schools and 2 alternative education schools whilst cutting mainstream school budgets.

Press Release 11th March 2019

In 2017, the UK government were found to be violating Disabled pupils’ human right to mainstream education under the UN Convention for Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 24, which obliges governments to promote the human right to inclusive education. The UNCRPD’s monitoring committee accepted evidence that Disabled pupils attending special schools had poorer outcomes than their mainstream educated peers as one of the reasons for rejecting the government’s rationale for increasing special school provision.

The government’s latest destinations data, focusing on pupils finishing their GCSEs in 2012/13, shows that nearly half (45%) of young people leaving PRUs were not in education, employment, or training six months after the end of their compulsory schooling; and this was also the case for 11 per cent leaving special schools, as compared to 6 per cent of students leaving mainstream schools.

Simone Aspis, Policy and Campaigns Co-ordinator, says:

“This is no longer about austerity and cuts – this government’s ideological drive is towards the dogma of investing in more segregated provision despite its association with poorer educational, employment and emotional outcomes.  The government continues to ignore the evidence that good mainstream education provision is more likely to produce better outcomes for Disabled pupils and that mainstream schools are the first preference of parents.  The establishment of special schools with poorer outcomes for Disabled children is in breach of  the government’s obligation to promote Disabled children’s human right to inclusive education under UNCRPD article 24, which requires the development of a fully inclusive education system for all.”