Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pupils with special educational needs (SEN) are being failed by mainstream schools

 Μainstream schools fail to help children with special educational needs (SEN) reach their full potential, is what their parents  believe, according to a report published today, 14th dec. 2014, by The 

A survey of 1,000 parents by the charity Mencap (the UK's leading learning disability charity, working with people with a learning disability and their families and carers), found mainstream schools are failing children with learning disabilities – with 81% of parents saying they are not confident their child's school is helping them do their best.

65%   of parents (nearly two-thirds) are convinced their child  receive  poorer education than those without special needs. 64% of parents say their childen have been taken out of class or activities because of their disability.
"Parents feel the education service is woefully ill prepared to properly support children and young people with a learning disability to reach their full potential," said Jan Tregelles, Mencap's chief executive.

Nancy Gedge, a teacher from Gloucestershire with a 13-year-old son, Sam, who has Down's syndrome, criticised support for him at his primary school: 
"All children have the right to a good education, equal life chances and opportunities for the future. These rights should be no different for a child with a learning disability – yet time and time again we hear that children with a learning disability are not getting the support they need at school. My son Sam, spent much of his time with his teaching assistant but very little time interacting properly with his peers or receiving proper support from his teacher to reach his potential. Mainstream teachers are not being given the training they need and, as a result, Sam became separate to his peers and saw himself as separate, too. Since moving to secondary school, though, things are much better".

 In special schools, every member of staff is trained to give pupils meaningful, appropriate and fruitful experiences.  That means the  staff is working with understanding of the pupils needs. There are also caretakers, cleaners and support  staff all work with these pupils. All teachers and staff have  experience working with pupils with special needs, something a mainstream school cannot provide.
The survey revealed a shift away from special needs children attending mainstream schools.  The number of pupils entering special schools increased by nearly a third among 10-11 year olds, at the beginning of school year 2013-14. The report said "This marks a significant and sudden movement of pupils with SEN away from mainstream settings"

A DfE spokesperson said: "In September we introduced the biggest reforms in a generation for children and young people with SEN to help them reach their full potential. We have always said this is the start of a journey and there are a wide range of resources available to help schools deliver the reforms. We have made funding available through for teachers and support staff to take new classes and qualifications. We have also worked with partners including the teaching unions to produce materials and a briefing pack to help school staff."


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