Poor parenting and weak teaching are driving a rise in the number of children labelled as having special needs, it was claimed yesterday.
Many diagnosed as having behavioural problems have simply been brought up with ‘very few books, very poor diet and very late bedtimes’, experts said.
It was also claimed that schools were labelling pupils as having special needs to explain head teachers’ failures to meet performance targets.
Official figures show that almost 1.7million children aged four to 16 in England – 21 per cent – were recorded as having special educational needs in 2011, up from 19 per cent in 2006.
There are 57 primary schools and 42 secondaries where at least half of pupils are classed as having special needs.
Figures also show that youngsters from poor homes are significantly more likely to be put on special needs registers than their middle-class peers.
Liverpool has twice as many pupils classed as having special needs as affluent Richmond-upon-Thames, it emerged yesterday. Read More