Considerable progress has been made in the inclusion of children with special educational needs within mainstream schools over the last 25 years but inclusion remains a major source of concern and confusion for policy makers and practitioners and of dissatisfaction for children and their parents. This paper explores some of the conceptual confusion surrounding inclusion and examines the impact of policy and legislative developments on support for children with special needs in mainstream schools. The paper draws on findings from a recent Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry into special educational needs, to which the author was Adviser, and on recent research.
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