In 'Don’t Send Him in Tomorrow', Jarlath O’Brien shines a light on the marginalised, disenfranchised and forgotten children of today’s schools. The percentage of children achieving the government’s expected standard in benchmark tests is national news every year. The progress that children with learning difficulties and SEND make is never discussed, because it is not understood. That is a problem. The bone-crushing infrastructure which professionals have to negotiate is a problem. The fact that so many parents have to fight tooth and nail so that the needs of their children are met, something the rest of us would consider a basic entitlement, is a problem. This book describes how the system can be improved if and when these marginalised children are given higher priority by the powers that be. There is a widespread lack of understanding about special schools, the work they do, and the children they educate – the sector is largely invisible. Jarlath O’Brien has become increasingly frustrated by this, and the varying quality of provision for children with learning difficulties and SEND in mainstream schools. The successes of special schools and pupil referral units in Ofsted inspections are just not celebrated or analysed in the same way that mainstream schools’ are. While mainstream schools have their hands tied by fears over progress measures. There is a human cost to the accountability culture that reduces schooling to data and judgements: this is felt most profoundly by children with SEND and their families.
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