Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

On the BBC Radio 4 programme, You and Yours today – we hear about yet another instance of the trauma experienced by a former pupil with autistic behaviours. This is not the first time I have heard of pupils being placed in isolation for perceived misdemeanours but surely there has to be a better way of disciplining children and young people than this cruel practice. The more we hear of these sad examples, the more I wonder what has gone so badly wrong with the revised system for addressing and meeting the needs of children with SEND.

The process of meeting diverse needs has to start with differentiation. From that basic foundation, any additional support provided, in whatever form, thus complements it. The reason for this is simple: learning for all pupils, whatever their level of ability, begins in the classroom – with whole class teaching. In my view, this is where things often start to go wrong. Why? Because schools often leave out the key people who can help with differentiation  – the parents. Parents know their children better than any teacher. They know their child’s personality and characteristics better than anyone else. So why then, do we not harness this expert knowledge where it is most needed – to support differentiation in the classroom?

How? Ideas with my next blog.

Sylvia Edwards (www.sylviaedwardsauthor.co.uk)

Author of the ‘Parents: Help your child succeed’ series of ebooks for parents. Book 1 on the SEND process is now available in print form from Amazon and other on-line retailers.

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