Why did Mary Warnock review her report on SEN thirty years later? Free essay! Download now
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Why did Mary Warnock review her report on SEN thirty years later?
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| Words: 1516 | Submitted: 22-Apr-2011
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DescriptionIt's about provision of SEN and inclusion
According to the United Nation’s convention on the rights of the child, every child has
a right to education. This also means that even children with special educational needs
must have access to education, whether in a mainstream school or a specialised school.
That is why for years, inclusion has been an issue, the main problem being whether to
include children with special educational needs into mainstream schools or not. In this
essay we are going to have a look at the Warnock Report and why was the committee
set up. We will also look at the reasons why Mary Warnock changed her mind about
what she said before in the report some twenty five years later and how far was she
justified in changing her mind. Finally, we will look at some of the positive side of the
The 1944 Education Act (Pluckrose,1987) made local Education Authorities
responsible for providing education for all children according to their needs, aptitudes
and abilities. Whilst it was intended that children with minor handicaps would be able
to attend mainstream schools, the Act required the blind, deaf, epileptic, physically
handicapped and aphasic children must be educated in special schools. For these
children who needed special education in the 1950’s and 1960’s were years of isolation
(Pluckrose, 1987). The 1970’s paved the way for a new approach to special needs. In
the summer 1974, a committee chaired by Mary Warnock was established to consider
how to make educational provisions for the handicapped more effective.
Finally in 1978, the Warnock Report, “The Education Of Handicapped Children and
Young People”, was published. The document provided the foundation for great
changes in education for children having special needs. The report covered any
student learning needs that could not be met by teachers in a typical mainstream
classroom and advocated inclusion rather than special schools. Lady Warnock claimed
that “we should consider the ideal of including all children in the common educational enterprise of learning, wherever they can learn best” (Mittler, 2008). Among the two
hundred and twenty five recommendations made by the report was the need to abolish
the use of categories, which is seen as damaging and irrelevant. The Warnock
Committee advocated “ a continuum of special needs, rather that discrete categories”
(Warnock, 2010). It was suggested in the report (DES1978a in Alexander, 1997) that
only two per cent of the school population required separate educational provision, but
that there were another eighteen percent of children who would require special
provision in normal schools. The report also emphasized on the importance of
effective assessment (DES, 1978 in Wall, 2011). Early identification of ...
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