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Special educational needs (SEN)

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Introduction

Literature Review Purposes and Questions of the lit review Throughout this literature review I plan to focus on the issues which surround inclusive education for children with special educational needs into mainstream schools. I specifically want to research the variety of special educational needs, whether they are physical, emotional, social or behavioural and the extent to which these needs affect the child's ability to learn. Therefore, the first research question I propose is, 'What are the special educational needs (SEN) exhibited by all children?' I then plan to look into the government responses to special educational needs and what effect this has had on social policy. Therefore, my second research question is; 'How has legislation and the Local Education Authority responded to children with special educational needs?' After I have a better understanding of special educational needs and how they are being addressed, I plan to identify the positive and negative aspects of mainstream schooling in comparison to special segregated units. This will be in response to my third question; 'Is it possible for children with special educational needs (SEN) to be educated into mainstream institutions?' What are the special educational needs (SEN) exhibited by all children?' The 1978 Warnock report stressed the principle that all children are entitled to an education, the emphasis on "handicapped children and young people" (Wall, 2003, p.12) where previously the provision was very little. "The child should be assessed as an individual with a differentiated curriculum reflecting this, if appropriate" (Wall, 2003,p.13) This innovative piece of legislation brought about the imminent 'special educational needs' label as a way of separating those children who needed extra support in order to be educated appropriately. The Children's Act (1989, cited in Wall, 2003) legislation redefined a child 'in need' if; "He is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him by services by a local authority under this Part; His health of development ...read more.

Middle

as cited in Wall (2003)) However, more recently the 1989 has been surpassed by the Education Act 1993 in which the secretary of state was required to issue a code of practice on special educational needs and more responsibility for parents. This provided guidance to the Local Education Authorities and school governors regarding their responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. The SEN legal website emphasies the right for parents to appeal on behalf of their child, if they are dissatisfied with the education authorities treatment or their child, for example if their child has been placed in a 'special school'. This is due to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal System (SENDIST) which stemmed from the Education Act of 1993 Soon after in 1994 a Code of Practice 'guidance document' was produced including identification and assessment of special educational needs (which included a statement of the child's special educational needs) and regular reviews of process, provision and statements. But perhaps most importantly was the introduction of the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) (Wall (2003) p.15) The introduction of a special educational needs co-ordinator is significant because it provides pupils with special educational needs in mainstream schools with a structure within the curriculum to suit the child's specific needs. Since then the Code of Practice has been revisited in 2001 which led to The Special Educational Needs and Disability Discrimination Act also in 2001. The new Code of Practice (2001) cited in Wall (2003) has updated several important factors including, "A stronger right for children with SEN to be educated at a mainstream school" (p.18) This leads on to my final research question, which is; 'Is it possible for children with special educational needs (SEN) to be educated into mainstream institutions?' It is obvious from researching the legislation into special educational needs that the focus has been on trying whereever possible to intergrate children with special educational needs with other children in mainstream schools. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Special Educational Needs Coordination should have been responsible for; "Liaising with and advising fellow teachers, coordinating provision for pupils with SEN and liaison with parents" (Wall 2003 p.16) In this example the interviewee was provided with extra classroom assistance which when looking he describes as beneficial, however, he describes being separated from the other children as difficult and upsetting. "Groups and individual children are assigned specific labels, often leading to special or segregated provision. This contradicts the notion of inclusion and the drive to make early years setting more inclusive" (Jones 2003 p.11) It is obvious that the extra help provided did substantially help the interviewee but it seems it was at the cost of himself feeling segregated from the rest of the class. From the results I have gathered I believe that inclusion of special educational needs children into mainstream classrooms is a reality however there needs to be a rethink about the practical application of this. The results show that of the number of people who have experienced learning difficulties, they have been responded to appropriately by the school and parents etc, however this is only because we openly aware of special educational needs, the stigma of a label that a child has to carry is a much more important issue. If I was to do the research project again I would defiantly send all the questionnaire of by email because the response was very good, however, I would try a larger variety of respondents and formulate patterns in the results according to age. One interview gave a small insight to a single experience but I believe that a larger amount of single interview and/or a focus group interview involving people of similar experiences would improve results greatly. Mittler, P. (2000) Working Towards Inclusive Education. Social Contexts. 3rd edn. London: David Fulton Wall, K. (2003) Special Needs and Early Years. 1st edn. London: Paul Chapman Jones, C.A (2004) Supporting Inclusion in the Early Years. 1st edn. Berkshire: Open University Press Beveridge... Gulliford, R. Upton, G (1992) Special Educational Needs. 1st edn. London: Routledge ...read more.

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