“The big question for me is: what’s happened out there?
“Have children suddenly got worse behaved?”
—UK education official
By Anne Dachel - visit Loss of Brain Trust for thousands of reports on the demise of childhood.
Going over the stories published last week, one really stood out to me.
On November 5th the Guardian ran the story, ‘Written off – at five’: children in England dumped in unfit ‘schools.’
This situation seems kind of inevitable as the special needs population continues to soar.
The Guardian reported that disabled children who have been expelled from regular special ed programs are being warehoused in substandard “schools” according to Ofsted officials.
(Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education in the UK)
Some vulnerable children excluded from mainstream schooling are being educated in unregulated and illegal schools based in caravans on farmland, and on industrial estates and business parks, Ofsted inspectors have told the Guardian in an attempt to lift the lid on a murky world.
…alternative provision (AP) for children who cannot be accommodated in mainstream education is complex and growing….
The landscape becomes even murkier when children who have been excluded are referred to over-subscribed pupil referral units. They may then be subcontracted to an unregistered setting. It means troubled and challenging children, some as young as five, are being sent to “schools” in unsuitable accommodation, with unqualified staff, and may be receiving little in the way of education….
There are people who see this situation as a money-making opportunity.
And a lot of money is changing hands. If a child has an education, health and care plan for severe special needs, large sums of money can follow that child, with annual fees of £30,000 [$40K] or even more being paid by local authorities to private providers.
“Why have we got ourselves into a situation where some of the most vulnerable children are being cared for or educated by people that probably aren’t as qualified as normal teachers?” said Shafiee.
“What’s going to happen to them? If at a very young age you end up in an illegal or unregistered AP, what are your chances?...
This makes the future look pretty bleak as schools struggle to accommodate more and more dysfunctional kids.
One part of this story will go unnoticed, I’m sure, but it’s really the heart of the problem.
One Ofsted official asked these seeming rhetorical questions:
“The big question for me is: what’s happened out there?
Have children suddenly got worse behaved?
What is it that’s fundamentally changed that means more children are going to APs, and primary kids are increasingly going to APs?
Because this area is so obscure we just don’t know.”
We seriously need to face these questions.
The truth is, yes, children have changed. That’s what happens when they’re exposed to brain-altering toxins at unprecedented levels, especially in unsafe, unchecked vaccines.
No one will admit this, of course, even though we can see the evidence everywhere.
Meanwhile, the decline makes the news.
San Francisco: Special education is causing a “huge budget deficit.”
That’s the word frequently used to describe the path San Francisco Unified School District must take to cure its huge budget deficit and avoid a state takeover.
And the pain will be especially intense for kids with special needs under a blueprint released by district staff this week….
The district must cut $125 million, about 10% of its budget, to balance its books for the next academic year.
Teachers are not happy about cuts.
“I am flabbergasted and terrified by the idea of cuts to special education,” said Chris Clauss, a special education teacher at George Washington High School, during public comment. “My colleagues are already overwhelmed as it is.”…
Statewide, special education costs have risen 28% to $13 billion between 2007 and 2017.
Green Bay, WI: An editorial slammed the practice of using regular ed money for special ed.
The recently approved Green Bay School District budget includes a transfer of more than $33 million from the general fund to cover special education costs.
Why this happens is inexcusable and must stop. …
To make up the gap, which is around $1 billion in Wisconsin, districts transfer funds for general education to cover special education.
This is how Green Bay will end up moving $63 million in two years.
Incredibly the number of students in Wisconsin schools is dropping at the same time there are MORE special needs kids.
You might think with a decrease in students in general, there would be a corresponding decrease in special education students.
You would be wrong.
As the total number of students dropped in Wisconsin over the past decade, the percentage of students with an IEP actually increased. This means a higher percentage of kids in public schools now require specialized services mandated by the federal government.
Green Bay saw an increase of 80 students in its special education program this year. …
In Bloomfield, Iowa, the district has hired “social and emotional specialists” to help teachers “who are overwhelmed with students’ needs while also trying to teach.”
Aurora, IL: Aurora University recently opened the Betty Parke Tucker Center for Neurodiversity “complete with a newly constructed, state-of-the-art dorm, to support college students on the autism spectrum.”
The BBC last week announced that only 22% of autistic adults are employed.
In the same coverage readers were told:
An estimated one in seven people in the UK are neurodivergent, which includes people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, the autism spectrum and other neurological functions….
This quiet acceptance of neurologically disabled people should frighten everyone. “Neurodivergent” is a red herring meant to downplay the severity of what’s happening and dissuade any of us expressing real concern over what’s happening.
UK: Warwickshire parents held a protest against the county council for failing to provide support for disabled students.
Tracy Winchester, who has repeatedly called for more support for children like her two sons, both of whom are autistic, led a group of parents to County Hall ahead of an inspection….
"In some respects, things seem worse than in 2018, and the little improvements noted by some families seem to be completely overshadowed by the continued utter disregard of children’s needs in other cases….”
UK: Derbyshire residents face a 3 year wait for autism assessments.
Data published by the trust as part of the meeting shows that there are 1,312 people waiting for autistic spectrum disorder assessments.
UK: Kingston will have a new autism school by 2023.
This will allow 90 places for four to 19 year olds and be a special free school. The land will be available for 125 years for token rent.
UK: Kirklees Council will build two new special schools— one just for autistic students.
The council is building the new centres to boost the number of special school places in the borough and prevent children and young people having to be educated outside Kirklees at an average placement cost of £58,000 [$79K] – an annual cost of £8m a year.
It says demand for school places is expected to increase over the next two years from 63 to 132 at Joseph Norton Academy and from 12 to 179 at Woodley….
UK: Leeds has seen a ‘dramatic increase’ in demand for SPED plans, with numbers increasing from 2,041 at 2014, to 5,006 at the time of writing.
“This increase is projected to continue…”
The charge has been made that “low-achieving children” are being forced into SPED so they won’t be part of the school’s “attainment figures.”
UK: North East received $270M in grant money for special ed.
UK: Wyre special school is expanding to second site.
The satellite provision to be created at Northfold will be run as part of Red Marsh, which is over-subscribed for its current 94 places.
The school caters for children and young people between the ages of two and 19 who have severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and autism spectrum conditions.
Canada: British Columbia is overhauling its autism support and parents are concerned. One family cited spent 7 years trying to get help for their autistic son.
Ireland: Wicklow minister “welcomed” the addition of another SPED classroom.
Wicklow Minister Simon Harris has welcomed the news and says the school has already expanded its Special Education enrolment in advance of the extension.