Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sidelining SENs

Interesting to put the following articles side by side:

Over a quarter of children with autism have been excluded from school and nearly half have experienced bullying, according to research published by the National Autistic Society.

Mike Collins, head of education at NAS, said:”Autism is a complex disability that is widely misunderstood. Too often, children and young people with autism are placed in inappropriate schools, with teaching staff who don’t have relevant training in the disability and in an environment that doesn’t meet their needs.”

Now try this:
The Department for Education and Skills is investigating claims that schools are putting teaching assistants in charge of special educational needs provision. Senior officials have been warned that cash-strapped heads are appointing teaching assistants with no relevant experience as special educational needs co-ordinators. The officials have discussed the issue with the National Association of Special Educational Needs and asked its chief executive Lorraine Peterson to establish the number of schools involved.

Peterson said: "We already know of many schools that have high-level teaching assistants who are now doing that role. We've had correspondence from teachers who have lost their posts as co-ordinators and they have gone to a teaching assistant who does not have the experience or training.


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