Alarming to see recent statistics showing that that pupils with special educational needs in England are dropping further behind their classmates in national primary school tests. The gap between SEN pupils and their peers has risen from 48 percentage points in 2016 to 52 this year, according to school league tables published by the DfE showing the results of around 16,000 primary schools.
The stats show 18% of SEN pupils reaching the expected level in reading, writing and maths, compared with 70% of their peers without special needs.
As well as SEN funding being in crisis, there seems to be little if any alternative action being taken in terms of developing specific enrichment programmes for SEN pupils. Many high-performing jurisdictions around the world are enlisting the support of music, drama, art, outdoor education, design and technology specialists to provide support for SEN pupils who whilst they might struggle with more traditional 'fixed' academic disciplines, really seem to thrive and enjoy the more creative opportunities which allow them to explore and play with ideas. Our challenge is surely to square this circle and give all SEN pupils opportunities to flourish.