A critical analysis of the processes of referral to special school and integration to mainstream school for certain children perceived by their teachers to be maladjusted
The recommendations of the Warnock Committee <1978) and the 1981 Education Act stated that the goals of education were the same for all pupils and they set the scene for all children, irrespective of handicap, to be educated in ordinary schools. The principle of equal opportunities for all pupils, whether or not they have statements of special educational needs, finally achieved statutory recognition in the 1988 Education Reform Act. All pupils now share the same right to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum relevant to their needs. However, in spite of the fact that numerous HMI reports state that special schools offer narrow and restricted curricula which may hinder the prospect of reintegration into mainstream schools for their pupils, there is evidence indicating that teachers continue to refer 'maladjusted' or 'difficult to teach' children for assessment with a view to special school placement. This study provides a critical analysis of the processes associated with referral and integration for two groups of children. When the research began, the referred children in mainstream school were likely to be transferred to special school, and the children in special school were already integrating into mainstream.