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ASN schools closing - who cares?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by sicilypat, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. sicilypat

    sicilypat New commenter

    Are ASN students being targeted in the current round of austerity cuts ? Is this all being done under the auspices of "inclusion" ? What additional funding is being given to mainstream to cope with medical/ social/ personal/educational support needs?
    Does inclusion "work"? I am totally in favour of fully funded inclusion, but this really needs to be properly funded to avoid additional pressures on mainstream teachers and a horrific lack of support for ASN students.
    Is inclusion causing problems for you in your classes?
    Discuss nicely please.
  2. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    The only "inclusion" I have ever seen work is for kids who are partially sighted and have hearing difficulties who can manage in the "mainstream".

    The rest of it is money saving, nothing else. Putting kids with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties in classes of 30, with no support as ASN auxiliaries are cut to the bone, is a recipe for disaster.
    ScotSEN, sicilypat and guinnesspuss like this.
  3. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    I really feel that children are set up to fail. We keep hearing the magic phrase 'up skill' mainstream teachers. However I had several years working with children with ASN but even with all my skills I could not have managed in a mainstream class as there is a distinct lack of experienced suppport staff and the environment is unsuitable.
    eg wheelchair user with mild cerebral palsy whose toilet training was going well at nursery kept wetting himself in P1. Why? By the time he knew he needed to go and told his auxilliary and she then found another one to assist and they got him to the one disabled toilet which was at the other end of the building he'd wet himself. Although he had a developmental delay he was aware enough to know that he shouldn't be wetting himself and found it upsetting.
  4. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    It's all about cash.

    Inclusion works up to a point. Once that point has been crossed is another matter.
  5. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    And it has been well and truely crossed!
  6. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    The following article was published in the Telegraph on 17 September 2010:


    The article was written by Baroness Mary Warnock who chaired the review of educational provision in England, Scotland and Wales for children and young people, handicapped by disabilities of body and mind. The review was set up in 1973 and the Warnock Report was published in 1978.

    Her comments in the Telegraph article, followed on from an Ofsted report: 'Special educational needs and disability review' (September 2010) in which it is claimed children's supposed special needs were being exaggerated and exploited in order to attract more money for schools. There are also other claims in the article (paragraphs 4 and 5), which are both controversial and at odds with the experience of practising teachers:

    "It was the idea of the continuum of needs that gave rise to the belief that the committee had recommended that all children, whatever their disabilities, should be educated in mainstream schools. What the committee actually recommended was that the large number of children with moderate learning difficulties already in mainstream schools should be identified and their needs provided for where they were. We also thought this would enable more children to be taught in mainstream rather than special schools because provision for their needs would now be better, and become part of the recognised mainstream provision.

    But the committee as a whole never proposed that all children should be taught under the same roof or that special schools should be abolished. This was, and remains, an extremist position."

    Having taught through the integration / inclusion of pupils with special needs, the above remarks come as a surprise to me. My understanding, at the time, was that all pupils would be considered for inclusion in mainstream schools, unless there were specific reasons why inclusion would not be in their interest or appropriate. Indeed, I recall a LEA in England which actually decided to close all their special schools in response to the recommendations of the Warnock Report.

    As for schools gaining money from inclusion, my own experience in Scottish LAs over the last 30 years or more, is that school and LA budgets have been severely stretched trying to meet the legal requirements of inclusion. Educating pupils with special needs in mainstream schools, rather than in special schools, has never been about saving money because it is not a cheap option. However, for some, or indeed many, children and young people with disabilities, mainstream education has proved to be beneficial and they have been more than capable of accessing the school curriculum.

    However, the elephant in the room when one mentions 'inclusion', is, perhaps, a more pressing problem for many schools today - the inclusion of pupils with social, emotional and behavioural issues.

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