Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) would be significantly disadvantaged by allowing grammar schools to expand.

The Government’s plans to allow grammar schools to expand would unfairly disadvantage children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • Evidence from the DfE and Edubase shows that the proportion of SEND pupils with statements or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans in the 2015/16 school year was:
    • less than 0.1% in grammars;
    • 2.4% in secondary modern schools; and
    • 1.8% across all schools.
  • The proportion of pupils with SEN but with support needs which do not make them eligible for a statement or an EHC plan, was:
  • 4.2% at grammar schools;
  • 13.5% at secondary modern schools; and
  • 12.4% nationally. 1
  • It is clear that expanding selective education, as evidenced in the DfE statistics above, will disproportionately harm the life chances of children with SEND.
  • Many pupils with SEND already find themselves effectively excluded by the admission arrangements of some schools within the current fragmented and competitive education system.  Any increase in selection is likely to impact heavily on the opportunities afforded to pupils with SEND, many of whom will not meet the academic requirements set for admission. 
  • The Government should focus on the elements which generate inclusive environments in every school – needs led funding, appropriate class sizes, relevant professional development for teachers and a coherent range of children’s services.

1  DfE (January 2016), ‘Schools pupils and their characteristics, Local authority and regional tables: SFR20/2016, Table 7c’; EduBase (register of educational establishments). Downloaded April 2016.