Disproportionate identification of Black students with special educational needs (SEN): Recent national data from England Professor Steve Strand University of Warwick Institute of Education steve.strand@warwick.ac.uk WIE Research seminar Wednesday - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Disproportionate identification of Black students with special educational needs (SEN): Recent national data from England Professor Steve Strand University of Warwick Institute of Education steve.strand@warwick.ac.uk WIE Research seminar Wednesday

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Title: Disproportionate identification of Black students with special educational needs (SEN): Recent national data from England Professor Steve Strand University of Warwick Institute of Education steve.strand@warwick.ac.uk WIE Research seminar Wednesday


1
Disproportionate identification of Black students
with special educational needs (SEN) Recent
national data from EnglandProfessor Steve
Strand University of Warwick Institute of
Educationsteve.strand_at_warwick.ac.ukWIE
Research seminarWednesday 7th November 20122
2
Historical Context UK
  • Late 1960s ILEA surveys of ESN(M) schools -
    Over-representation of West Indian immigrants
    (17 of ILEA population but 34 ESN schools).
    Coard (1971) argues behaviour rather than low IQ
  • DES (1972) National data West Indian represent
    1.1 of population but 4.9 among ESN(M) schools
  • 1980s Focus shift to Emotional Behavioural
    Difficulties (EBD) Cooper et al (1991) suggest
    Black Caribbean over-represented 41 in EBD
    schools
  • CRE (1985) Birmingham 1974-1980 Black pupils
    4 times more likely to be suspended or placed in
    behavioural units than White students

3
Current data US
  • Substantial US evidence that Black American
    students are over-represented 2.51 for Mental
    Retardation and 1.61 for Emotional
    Disturbance relative to White students, and
    Hispanic students (Puerto Rican/Cuban/Mexican
    American) are under-represented 0.81 and 0.61
    respectively relative to White students (e.g.
    Donovan Cross, 2002)
  • Strong legislative action taken - Individuals
    with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004

4
Current data UK
  • UK research more qualitative, little demographic
    evidence - removal of categories in Warnock
    (1978). Move to looking at exclusions (Parsons et
    al. 2005 DCSF, 2007 Getting it Getting it
    right)
  • Collection of category of primary need from 2004
    National School Census (NSC). Strand Lindsay
    (2009) analysed 2005 NSC for 6.4M pupils aged
    5-16 to show
  • Black Caribbean ( Mixed White Black Caribbean)
    students over-represented 1.321 for MLD and
    2.31 for BESD relative to White British
  • Black African ( Mixed White and Black African)
    students not over-represented for MLD or BESD.

5
Explanations
  • Two broad explanations proposed for Black
    over-representation among SEN (Coutinho et. al.,
    2002)
  • More at-risk because of greater poverty and
    socio-economic deprivation (SED)
  • Inappropriate interpretations of cultural
    differences, including teacher and institutional
    racism
  • Difficult for US research to answer as absence of
    pupil level data

6
Aims of current study
  • Update 2005 analyses with 2007, 2009 and 2011
    data
  • Are Black Caribbean students still
    over-represented for MLD BESD?
  • Do differences remain after control for
    socio-economic deprivation (SED)?
  • Are disproportionalities evident for other Black
    groups, e.g. Black African?
  • Any trend in overall results 2005 - 2011?

7
Data sources and variables
  • National School Census (NSC) January 2005, 2007,
    2009 2011
  • Census of entire maintained school population
    aged 5-16 years, over 6 million pupils annually
  • Ethnic group
  • 19 main categories, student or parent selected
  • SEN
  • For children at School Action Plus or
    Statemented, schools asked to record the primary
    type of SEN
  • Focus here on the most frequent needs MLD and
    BESD (most frequent accounting around half of all
    identified SEN)

8
Ethnic group 2005
9
SEN type - Primary need 2005
10
Contextual variables
  • Gender (Male/Female)
  • Year group (Y1-Y11)
  • Age within year group (Autumn, spring or summer
    born)
  • Socio-economic disadvantage (SED)
  • Entitlement to FSM
  • Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index
    (IDACI)
  • English as Additional Language (EAL)

11
entitled to FSM by ethnicity 2005
12
Defining over and under-representation
  • Odds Ratios (OR)
  • Percentages problematic, low base rate and
    proportional issue, but ORs give a clear measure
    of the differential for each BME group relative
    to White British
  • Highlighting Ors gt1.331 (or conversely lt0.751)
    difference of 33 in odds.
  • Allow easy comparison before after adjustment
    for contextual variables in nominal regression
    Unadjusted vs. Adjusted ORs

13
Results 2011
  • SED is the factor most strongly related to MLD
    BESD (Combined FSM/IDACI 3.61 for MLD and 41
    for BESD)
  • Gender strong as well (1.871 MLD 3.31 for
    BESD)
  • Age effect for MLD (summer born 1.651 vs. autumn
    born)
  • These factors are more strongly related to SEN
    than is ethnicity, but some associations with
    ethnicity remain in adjusted ORs

14
SAP/Statemented MLD 2011
15
ORs - Moderate Learning Difficulties
Note Traveller groups not included because of
small sample size .
16
Conclusions - MLD
  • US findings only partially mirrored
    over-representation much smaller (1.41 not
    2.61), and only for Black Caribbean not for
    other Black groups
  • Over-representation is eliminated by controls for
    student background (OR 0.891)
  • Indicates greater SED experienced by Black
    Caribbean students, rather than school
    identification processes, can account for
    over-representation
  • Teacher need to be aware they are not accounting
    well for age effects (Summer born OR 1.65 vs.
    Autumn born)

17
SAP/Statemented BESD 2011
18
ORs Behavioural Emotional Social Difficulties
Note Traveller groups not included because of
small sample size.
19
Conclusions - BESD
  • Black Caribbean result comparable size to US
    (2.31 vs. 1.6-2.61), though again specific to
    Black Caribbean (and Mixed White Black
    Caribbean) students, not other Black groups
  • Just over half of the over-representation can be
    explained by SED, but 50 over-representation
    remains (1.51)
  • School processes BESD involves a greater degree
    of social construction than many SEN,
    interpretation against expected patterns or
    norms. Room for school processes e.g. greater
    surveillance, pre-emptive discipline (Gillborn,
    1990) and teacher expectations (Strand, 2012)
  • Out of school cultural factors street
    sub-culture and prestige to unruly behaviour
    rather than academic success. Ogbus (1978)
    voluntary/involuntary minorities distinction
    mirrors Black Caribbean / Black African results
    (c.f. educational aspirations, attitudes,
    motivation etc. Strand, 2011)

20
Conclusions Overall
  • Patterns from the US - or historical data in UK -
    are not necessarily replicated e.g.
    over-representation of Black Caribbean pupils for
    MLD is slight can be explained by socio-economic
    factors
  • However Black Caribbean and Mixed White Black
    Caribbean overrepresentation for BESD cannot be
    totally explained by SED, still overrepresented
    21 and 1.51 respectively. School processes may
    be involved.
  • The under-representation of Black African
    students, despite on average higher levels of
    socio-economic disadvantage than Black Caribbean
    students, needs to be explained. Mitigates
    against any simple recourse to teacher racism.

21
Conclusions (cont.)
  • A key differentiator may lie in patterns of
    immigration to England. Ogbus (1978) distinction
    between voluntary/involuntary minorities. Black
    African students and families highest levels of
    educational aspirations, attitudes and motivation
    (Strand, 2011). Out of school cultural factors
    may be at least as important as in-school
    factors.
  • Further research needed on
  • LA variation and patterns of disproportionality
  • School composition effects
  • Other types of SEN (work on SLCN just completed)

22
Conclusions (overall)
  • Re-evaluate what we think we know in the light of
    the current data
  • Patterns from the US not necessarily replicated
    in England
  • Patterns from 40 years ago not necessarily
    replicated today
  • BESD requires further investigation and review
  • Explanations need to be differentiated both in
    relation to ethnicity (e.g. Black Asian are
    inadequate generalisations) and type of SEN (BESD
    different from MLD, from SLCN / ASD / HI etc.)
  • Further research needed on
  • LA variation and patterns of disproportionality
  • School composition effects
  • Other types of SEN (work on SLCN just completed)

23
Broad issues to discuss
  • School (and pupils) often argue it is important
    that school rules are applied consistently,
    irrespective of ethnicity, but this is often
    criticised as a colour-blind approach. What
    allowances should schools make re equalities
    legislation?
  • 80 of students say their learning is disrupted
    by the persistent bad behaviour of a minority of
    peers (OCC, 2012, p8). Should a concern for the
    5 of Black Caribbean pupils identified with BESD
    be balanced by equal concern for their effects on
    the other 95 of Black Caribbean pupils?
  • School structures Are academies undermining
    collective responsibility similar to the Grant
    Maintained school experience in mid 1990s?

24
References
  • Strand, S. (2010). Do some schools narrow the
    gap? Differential school effectiveness by
    ethnicity, gender, poverty and prior attainment.
    School Effectiveness and School Improvement,
    21(3), 289-314. link to journal article
  • Strand, S. (2011). The limits of social class in
    explaining ethnic gaps in educational attainment.
    British Educational Research Journal,
    37(2),197-229. link to journal article 
  • Strand, S. (2012). The White British-Black
    Caribbean achievement gap Tests, tiers and
    teacher expectations. British Educational
    Research Journal, 38(1),75-101.
  • Strand, S. Lindsay, G. (2009). Evidence of
    ethnic disproportionality in special education in
    an English population. Journal of Special
    Education, 43, (3), 174-190. link to journal
    article
  • Strand, S. Winston, J. (2008). Educational
    aspirations in inner city schools. Educational
    Studies, 34(4), 249-267. Link to journal article
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