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Ethnic disproportionality in special education: evidence from an English population study

By Steve Strand and Geoff Lindsay

Abstract

Differences in the proportions of students identified as having special educational needs (SENs) across ethnic groups have historically been of concern in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, the absence of student-level data has hindered investigation of the reasons for such disproportionality. The authors present an analysis of the 2005 Pupil Level Annual School Census for 6.5 million students aged 5 to 16 years in England. Logistic regression analyses were completed to calculate the odds ratios of having identified SENs both before and after adjusting for the influence of age, gender, and socioeconomic disadvantage (poverty). Poverty and gender had stronger associations than ethnicity with the overall prevalence of SENs. However, after controlling for these effects, significant over-and underrepresentation of some minority ethnic groups relative to White British students remained. The nature and degree of these disproportionalities varied across categories of SENs and minority ethnic groups and were not restricted to judgmental categories of SENs. \u

Topics: LC
Publisher: Sage
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:459

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