SEN support needs to play a bigger role in mainstream schools. The latest findings from the Department for Education’s study on SEN support shows that there are many ways in which mainstream schools can improve their ability to support SEN students. The insights obtained from this data show what mainstream schools should do to better facilitate SEN learners and their development.
All mainstream teachers should be able to identify SEN traits in their students and understand the necessary processes to follow in reporting these traits and facilitating these students. Overall, findings show that schools generally have a well-established approach to identifying SEN traits among their students. Teachers reported that their schools had the necessary resources throughout the process. The most useful resources include SENCO assessments, test and exam results and input from teachers and parents. These results show that many schools have the right tools and processes in place for the identification of SEN, but these skills must become a fundamental part of becoming a teacher and should be instilled in early career teachers right from the start of their career.
The reason identification is so important is because the earlier these needs are identified, the sooner students can receive the proper assistance they require. This in turn reduces student frustration and facilitates the development of better learning habits.
Meeting The Needs of SEN Pupils
Identification is only the first part of the process and while it is a valuable skill for all teachers to have, being able to meet the needs of SEN students may require specific training and the right teaching methods. Dedicated SEN teachers and SEN training courses are the most reliable options available to help meet SEN student needs. The way to meet SEN students' needs is to review and evaluate their progress. By doing so teachers are able to provide SEN students with the right level of assistance, allowing them to keep up with the class or learn in a manner that is best suited to them. Making sure SEN students feel comfortable on a physical, emotional, and social level is a crucial part of ensuring their development and is the most important part of meeting their needs.
Facilitating and supporting SEN students allows schools to deliver a comprehensive learning experience to students with all kinds of learning abilities. This will allow SEN students to reach their full potential without the need to potentially move away to attend SEN specific schools.
The Department of Education provided its own improvement suggestions for schools. They suggest regular training and feedback with staff is necessary for keeping them informed and up to date on the school’s SEN identification processes. There are two groups that are a priority in receiving these feedback and training sessions. The first is hiring new staff. It is important that staff know what to do and what to look out for right from the beginning of their time at their schools and with their students. The second is the learning support assistants. They will be able to help teachers by giving more attention to SEN students, while the teacher focuses on the rest of the class when necessary.
The Department of Education also says that schools need to ensure that their approach to assessing SEN students is based on standardised national tests. A focus must also be put on the way in which SEN students are transferred to new educational settings. Detailed, high-quality data needs to be given to these new facilities in a timely manner. Finally, the Department of Education says that a school’s SEN system must be reviewed regularly to make sure they are up to standard and that SEN students are receiving the best education they can.
Prioritising the needs of SEN students is something that more schools need to focus on. The right staff are a crucial part of ensuring this is done properly. At Simply Education we are able to provide SEN teaching staff, but we also provide SEN specific CPD courses that help teachers learn the best ways to teach and support SEN students. To find teachers with us or to find work register with us today at https://www.simplyeducation.co.uk/register