Special educational needs and their links to poverty

Bart Shaw, Eleanor Bernardes, Anna Trethewey and Loic Menzies

This research explores why the links between special educational needs and disability (SEND) and poverty are so strong.

This report shows that poverty is both a cause and an effect of SEND and makes a series of recommendations, including:

  • Policy-makers and school and early years leaders should prioritise SEND.
  • Staff in schools and early years settings should be trained to identify needs so that they can be spotted early and over-identification and under-identification are reduced.
  • Targeted funding for pupils with SEND who are at risk of exclusion should be provided so that schools can support them before they are excluded.


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