Vulnerable children with special educational needs are being let down by residential special schools that are “professionally isolated” and lack ambition, an independent review has found.
Some residential special schools focus on wellbeing and therapeutic support of their pupils at the expense of educational progress, according to a review of residential special schools and colleges.
And adversarial relationships between local authorities (LAs) and providers leave young people “caught in the middle” and can cause delays in them receiving the right support, it found.
Currently, there are around 6,000 children educated in 334 residential special schools and colleges in the state, non-maintained and independent sectors.
And today’s review, Good Intentions, Good Enough?, written by Dame Christine Lenehan and Mark Geraghty, says: “Some young people can be held back by a lack of ambition for what they can achieve. Preparation for adulthood can suffer because of this, and some LAs feel outcomes are not as good as they should be.