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SEN (Special Educational Needs) and inclusion in a time of "famine"

Laattoe, Bahir (2014) SEN (Special Educational Needs) and inclusion in a time of "famine". PhD thesis, UCL Institute of Education .

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Abstract

This thesis is about the changes a particular LEA implemented to funding for pupils with Statements of SEN in the light of a funding crisis affecting the whole LEA in 2003. It disproves the case that the Authority was making and which was even being made in academic literature, that SEN funding was imminently out of control. Instead it shows the deep-seated effect of neoliberalism on special education. It also argues that the Authority’s call for greater inclusion was used rhetorically to justify the funding changes and that inclusion became a means to move pupils with Statements who were educated outside the Authority back into schools within the Authority. It shows that changes in funding Statements marked a change in emphasis regarding decision-making about writing Statements – considerations about funding became more important than considerations about the best educational interests of the child. Finally, it argues that funding pupils with Statements was politically determined, not mainly financially driven, and that such funding became dependent on the number of pupils with Free School Meals and other indications of ‘deprivation’, rather than being based on the actual number of pupils with Statements per se. This, it argues, caused conflict amongst schools and, crucially, also calls into question how SEN and inclusion are themselves defined. This thesis is relevant to present debates about special education because the Coalition government is developing a new SEN Code of Practice and is implementing changes using similar arguments to those discussed in the thesis – the present government is claiming that there is a funding crisis, that ‘proxy measures’ should be used to count the incidence of SEN and that the ‘bias’ toward inclusion should be removed. Key words/phrases: SEN, Inclusion, Statements of SEN, Local Authority education funding crisis, ‘proxy indicators’ for SEN, SEN Time Bomb, Funding for inclusion, funding for special education, political economy of special education, neoliberalism, local democracy

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: SEN, Inclusion, Statements of SEN, Local Authority education funding crisis, ‘proxy indicators’ for SEN, SEN Time Bomb, Funding for inclusion, funding for special education, political economy of special education, neoliberalism, local democracy
Subjects: Departments > Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mr Julian Zerfahs
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2015 14:51
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2015 15:14
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