Inclusion is a process that accommodates to the educational, social and emotional needs of children, young people and families. The inclusive process can incorporate a range of specialized provision that can be accessed according to need. A key factor that determines the success, of inclusive provision is the training of staff, and the impact of that training in the planning, differentiation and presentation of the curriculum. (Reid, 2011).
The aim of my presentation was to discuss and elaborate on Inclusion with my focus rimarily on the 1981 Education Act and also the link between Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Provision and what the SEN Code of Practice did to make it a fairer society and who helps pupils who are established with SEN.
The Warnock report (DfES, 1978) and the subsequent 1981 Education Act represented the first attempt in the United Kingdom to take a synoptic view of the whole field of special education and to present a coherent philosophy.
The 1981 Education Act introduced the system of a statutory multi-disciplinary assessment that could lead to the Local Education Authority (LEA) issuing a statement of special educational needs.
Before the 1981 Education Act came into force on 1st April 1983, the provision of special educational services in England and Wales was formulated from the 1944 Education Act. However, this Act then introduced ideas of special educational needs (SEN), statement of SEN, and integrative approach’ which later became known as an ‘inclusive approach’.
Inclusive approach is based on common educational goals for all children regardless of their abilities or disabilities.
The 1981 Education Act amended section 36 of the 1944 Education Act by imposing upon Local Educational Authorities (LEAS) a basic educational duty to ensure that very child received full-time education that was not only ‘suitable to his age, ability, and aptitude’, but also to any special educational needs he may have’. (Alan, J, Marsh, 15).
Furthermore, it broadened the concept of special educational needs to include any child whose learning difficulty called for special educational provision, and made it the duty of governors of ordinary schools to use their ‘best endeavors’ to provide appropriate in-house support. The Green Paper (DfEE, 1997b) provides numerical evidence to support the notion that inclusion had still not increased: Across the ountry as a whole, some 98,000 pupils are educated in maintained or non- maintained special schools, a number which has been virtually constant throughout the 1990s. p45. ). Furthermore, more recent statistics provided by the DfES (2002) demonstrate that between 1997 and 2002 the total number of pupils in maintained or non-maintained special schools, including those with and without statements, fell from 98,200 to 94,500. Special educational needs only make sense in a context ot provision and t inadequacy of what is regarded to be normal levels of provision. Under the 1981 Act hat establishes a child, as having special educational needs is that he or she requires special educational provision.
It does not talk about the innate characteristics of the child but about the schooling that the child receives and how they respond to it. For example, if a child is labeled as having ‘special educational needs’ for instance learning difficulties, which then calls for special educational provision to be made for that particular child then there is a direct link between having special educational needs and special educational provision. The net result is that special educational needs are provision-led rather than child-led. Seamus Hegarty). It will depend on the LEAs if such provision will be made.
The LEAs will have two options the first option being to conclude that the child’s needs can be met from the resources available at the school or the second option would be to provide the child with a Statement of Special Educational Needs. The main differences between the first and second options is that in the former the provision to be made has to come from resources already available to the school even though, the aim in both cases will be the same which is to ‘provide and meet the child’s needs, as identified, fully and appropriately (Ahmad F RamJhun, (2002).
Moreover, with the second option, the LEA provides a Statement of Special Educational Needs which is a legal document that has six parts for example, part 3 would focus on the special education provision to be made, including details of broad teaching objectives, the level of staffing support to be made available and the monitoring and reviewing arrangements. The revised SEN Code of Practice (DfES, 2001) has been effective since 1st January 2002 and in England it replaces the original 1994 Code.
The SEN Code of Practice is to give practical guidance’ and advice to LEAS, governing bodies of state schools and overnment funded Early Years settings and to all who help them (e. g. health and social services) to meet their responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs. It is a statutory requirement that all these bodies must take into account what the Code says when making decision. However, the Code does not prescribe what should happen in each individual case.
The Warnock Report effectively made the first step towards involving parents in their child’s special education and in establishing the principle of professionals working in partnership with parents. The term ‘parents’ includes any one who has the parental esponsibility for example, foster care. Partnership with parents is one of the guiding principles in the SEN Code of Practice. Parents should be informed and involved at all stages so there should never be a situation where parents are unaware that their child is experiencing difficulties.
There are three crucial roles in school to support pupils with special educational needs. The first being the class teacher, the class or subject teacher will report any concerns to the head teacher or to the SENCO, keep records of progress and keep parents informed and involved. However, for some tudents their special educational needs may only become apparent after a period of time for this reason assessment should be a continual process for early identification.
The SENCO nas a key role in the management ot S N provision in a school and Early Years setting and generally takes responsibility for the day-to-day management of this. Other responsibilities include liaison with colleagues in the school, parents and outside agencies and the general co-ordination of SEN provision in the school.
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