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Special Education Taking Over in England

Abadnonned schoolBy Anne Dachel

I found one story on March 17th  that could be titled, Britain acquiesces to the decline of childhood.

(There are endless other stories about the UK on

How is it possible that without question, the British (England only here) willingly provide MORE AND MORE SPECIAL NEEDS PLACES while expecting things to be even worse in coming years???

Someone who's informed about education in the UK needs to explain how the latest government move to provide 39 MORE SPED SCHOOLS (3,500 more places) relates to a announcement back in 2015, also providing more schools.

Four years ago, the talk was about 27 new schools (22 were specifically FOR AUTISTIC STUDENTS). So are we talking about 66 new schools all together? (It's impossible to miss the fact that MORE AUTISM is the reason behind all of this. Stories all say so.)

Is this the future for Britain, just keep on building? And what about the counties that weren’t picked to receive a new school? Will they just go deeper and deeper in debt paying for disabled children to be outsourced for school?

Grim years ahead for those not chosen

Mar 17, 2019, Schools Week: Rejected special school bids in areas facing biggest shortfalls   

The majority of local authorities that have been refused new specialist schools will run out of places three years from now, Schools Week analysis shows.

The Department for Education announced on Monday that 39 local authorities had been successful in their bids for new special needs or alternative provision schools, out of 65 to apply.

But our analysis shows that 54 per cent of the local authorities that were not successful are facing shortfalls in secondary pupil places by 2021.

That compares to just 39 per cent of those given the go-ahead.

Furthermore, the two councils facing the biggest shortfall in secondary places were among those refused.

One of those, Manchester City Council, had two bids for specialist schools rejected – despite needing more than 8,500 school places in three years from now. …

Four years ago

Mar 27, 2015, UK, New Schools Network: 22 new free schools create 2,000 new autism school places

During Autism Awareness Week, analysis by education charity New Schools Network shows that the free school programme has created 2,000 new places open to young people with autism.

There are now over 400 free schools open or approved to open, of these 27 are special schools. Once full, these schools will create more than 2,200 new places, representing an increase of more than two per cent (2.2%) in SEN places available nationally. Together they cater for a wide range of special educational needs, including autism, and will offer a high quality education to thousands of young people.

Of the 27 open or approved to open special schools, 22 will cater for pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), when full, they will be providing over 2,000 new places special school places.

Natalie Evans, Director of the New Schools Network, said:

“Free schools are offering a new choice to parents of children with autism.  When you consider that there are just over 1,000 special schools in England at the moment, these 22 new schools are providing a significant addition to provision in England.

“According to the National Autistic Society, more than half of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them, which is why charities such as NAS and Ambitious about Autism, existing schools and groups of parents have all embraced the opportunity to set up new schools.

“As Autism Awareness Week puts these issues in the spotlight, the positive contribution that free schools have made to increasing the choice of children with autism and other special educational needs across the country should be recognised.”...

Further information

Special free schools are catering for a wide range of needs from social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

Autism now affects about one in 100 children and there are around 100,000 children with autism in the UK (ONS). 71% of children with autism are educated in mainstream schools and the remainder in specialist provision (Department for Education (2012) Special Educational Needs in England). Over 63% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them (NAS).

It’s clear that these schools are for children who cannot be educated in traditional school settings. Multiple stories describe these as places for students with autism, social emotional behavior issues and mental health problems. Britain continues to struggle to provide services for the new type of special needs child.

*It should be noted that in 2014 the UK government extended special education services to age 25, instead of stopping at age 19.   While this lessens the burden on adult services, it’s more pressure on schools.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.




Rise in mental illness in college students up 28 percent since 2000.

Lots of articles, tons; so many that it is hard to pick which ones to copy, and paste about mental illness in colleges. Many talk about the young ones life now a days are just too stressful. Yeah, two jobs, test, have to write papers, internships; I agree is stressful. However; compare that to an 18 year old sitting in a fox hole in the South Pacific, after he has been through five major battles on bloody beaches; all to obtain that mosquito filled foxhole. It has to be more about something else than just stress?


I often feel as if we are experiencing a human version of colony collapse disorder.

What about those increasingly scare NT students who are getting ignored in the classroom simply because there is not enough attention to go around?
What about NT students traumatized by out of control behavior (that is not the fault of the SPED student at all)?

One day I would like to read an article about the impact of increasing SPED costs, both economic and academic, on NT students.

They are as much affected by the autism epidemic as parents and taxpayers.

Angus Files

Special Ed is Academia Ed Normal Ed is Special Ed- as,there are nearly more with needs these days than NT`s superbly pointed out in one of your last article`s Anne ...thanks again for another great article.

Pharma For Prison


Shelley Tzorfas

Anne Dachel stays on top of the special education issues throughout much of our globe. I think of her writings as, "The Special Education Antigen and Adjuvant Gazette ."

Dagmar Palmerova

Mr Moffit,
Until general public uses active mentation to find out Why, nothing can be done, the same with carbon dioxide participating in life processes, causing political "climate change" since Kyoto conference.

John Stone

Thank you Anne: after two and a half decades of official flannel we simply have unprecedented misery and chaos.

Bob Moffit

"It’s clear that these schools are for children who cannot be educated in traditional school settings. Multiple stories describe these as places for students with autism, social emotional behavior issues and mental health problems …"

While I suspect the effort to "building more schools and extending special education services to 25 instead of stopping at 19" is supported by all political factions in the U.K. .. but … these measures will do nothing to provide the reasons explaining WHY the need for "more schools and services" continues to increase in today's generation of children?

Is this the world's very first 'genetic breakdown' .. or .. far more likely .. some type of continuing "environmental" corruptive influence on early childhood development? While building schools and extending critical needed services are desperately needed by parents and children TODAY .. continuing to ignore WHY this catastrophic, most likely environmental tragedy, has occurred will do nothing to prevent future generations of children from suffering the same tragedies.

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