Looking back: a brief history of the Warnock Enquiry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The Mary Warnock Enquiry remains the most comprehensive review of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) ever commissioned by a UK government. In November 1971, a Labour backbencher asked the then secretary of state for education and science, Margaret Thatcher, to consider an enquiry into ‘the whole field of special education’. The Warnock Report is sometimes credited as introducing inclusion, but in reality, it was a catalyst. The Warnock Report consolidated and brought together many different strands of thinking and practice in special education and employment in one place, and articulated a cohesive and expansive plan for lifelong inclusion for those with SEND. The SEND enquiry, launched in April 2018, and ongoing at the time of writing, ‘is intended to review the success of reforms, how they have been implemented, and what impact they are having in meeting the challenges faced by children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIncluding Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Learning and Life
Subtitle of host publicationHow Far Have We Come Since the Warnock Enquiry – and Where Do We Go Next?
EditorsRob Webster
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780429436499, 9780429791130
ISBN (Print)9781138348868
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2019


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