Marguerite Wilson and son Jack (15). He has autism and was unable to get a place in secondary school for a year. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Back to school. For 15-year old Jack Wilson, these three words mean more than the return of school bells, lost stationary and early-morning commutes. (...)

Special classes are designed to cater to the needs of young people who have been assessed as requiring more specialised support and might not cope in a regular classroom. Photograph: iStock

Is there a two-tier gap in the education system for children with autism or learning disabilities? Many campaigners and parents of children with speci(...)

Campaigners say many children with special needs are refused access to secondary schools through use of “soft barriers”. Photograph: iStock

Are secondary schools using “soft barriers” to turn away students with special needs? Yes, says research. Latest studies show disadvantaged schools h(...)