Professionals’ views on the new policy for special educational needs in England.

Olympia Palikara, Susana Castro, Carolina Gaona and Vasiliki Eirinaki
School of Education, University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom


It is not uncommon to find that changes in Education policy lead to controversy among professionals contributing to the provision, or at least to a national debate with implications worldwide. This is particularly apparent in relation to special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision.

In Germany, for example, recent changes in the SEND policy reflect decades of attempts to change the system through a bottom-up research-informed agenda, with critiques coming from professionals working in the field with children with SEND that the process was too technocratic to be adopted at national level (Pretis 2017).

In Portugal, professionals have been consulted about significant changes introduced in the SEND policy through focus groups conducted at national level with clear support from special education teachers in relation to the new policy  Sanches-Ferreira, Silveira-Maia, and Alves 2014).

In Sweden, different professional groups reported different ideas on how schools should work with children with SEND, thus becoming one of the few studies that looked at differences between occupational groups (Lindqvist et al. 2011). To our knowledge, this is the first study which describes the outcomes of a survey conducted to various professionals working with children with SEND in England, in order to gauge their views regarding the recently introduced changes in the SEND policy framework.

View the full report here.

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