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Serving their communities? The under-admission of children with disabilities and ‘special educational needs’ to ‘faith’ primary schools in England

Campbell, Tammy (2023) Serving their communities? The under-admission of children with disabilities and ‘special educational needs’ to ‘faith’ primary schools in England. Oxford Review of Education. ISSN 0305-4985

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Identification Number: 10.1080/03054985.2023.2249818

Abstract

Around 28 per cent of state primary school children attend ‘faith’ establishments in England, the majority in Catholic or Church of England schools. Research suggests ‘faith’ schools tend to educate proportionally fewer children from low-income families (proxied by eligibility for Free School Meals [FSM]). This paper examines whether they also under-admit children ‘disadvantaged’ according to another key dimension: having special educational needs and/or disability (SEND). Descriptive statistics and modelling use the National Pupil Database census and span 2010–2020. Across years, ‘faith’ primary schools are less likely to include children with SEND, and less likely to admit children with SEND to the first (Reception) year. Accounting for area-level factors, indications of under-admission to Catholic schools become more pronounced. Some disproportionality for Church of England schools is explained by confounders – but even after attenuation, they remain less likely to serve children with SEND than non-‘faith’ schools. Together, FSM and SEND predict a substantively meaningful lowered likelihood of children attending ‘faith’ schools, so these schools, at the national level, seem to have become hubs of relative ‘advantage’. Findings therefore demand interrogation of whose interests these institutions serve, and of their part within the current English system.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/core20
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2023 14:30
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 06:24
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/120049

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