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SEND in schools

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Fiona Twycross Fiona Twycross Labour

A report from London Councils has found that “A significant number of schools across London are engaging in poor admissions practice to informally exclude [SEND] pupils from even starting at their school”. What can you do to support local councils in tackling this issue?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Refusing or resisting admission to children whose special educational needs could be accommodated is unacceptable and unlawful. I applaud London Councils for highlighting this issue and will support them by continuing to advocate for inclusion, and by challenging poor practice.

Earlier this year I highlighted the issue of schools ‘off-rolling’ young people with SEND in my London Post-16 SEND Review and called on the Prime Minister to reverse damaging cuts to early intervention services and give schools the resources they need to support young people.

I am supporting schools to improve and share inclusive practice through the Schools for Success programme, which identifies schools that are supporting low prior attaining pupils effectively and are willing to share learning. This has included convening the London education community to share SEND expertise at a GLA and Whole School SEND seminar on 14 October, which had a focus on providing the right early support for SEND pupils and reducing the risk of exclusion.