The majority of school-leavers over two years from two special schools were individually interviewed (n=34), as were their parents (n=37). Both groups expressed broad satisfaction with the schooling. The parents were split on the merits of mainstream education. Those in favour tended to stress the social benefits whereas those against felt that only special schools could meet their child's particular needs.Reactions to social services were more critical, with the main complaint being the lack of information and the dearth of respite and leisure activities. Hence the special schools seemed to have played an important role in supporting families.Only a minority of leavers went directly to local authority day centres with most going to FE colleges. However few families were offered any alternatives although most seemed happy with the chosen placement. Nearly all the young people aspired to having a job.Three main themes were discerned among the reflections of the parents and young people. First, the importance of schools in developing the young people's social competence and of promoting social inclusion and acceptance. Second, the role of schools in addressing the support needs of families in conjunction with other agencies. Third, the creation of employment opportunities as a measure of success of both schools and FE colleges.
|Journal||Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2001|