As a result, special needs association Nasen has launched a campaign calling on ministers and schools to do more to ensure education professionals get the support they need to help cope with pupils’ needs.
The Every Teacher campaign was launched at the House of Commons last month and has five key messages:
Every teacher is responsible for every pupil in their class.
Every teacher is accountable for every pupil’s progress.
Every teacher is entitled to high quality professional development.
Every teacher should understand the individual needs of all their pupils.
Every teacher should have the support of a qualified and experienced SENCO.
To support their aims, Nasen is calling for all schools to commit to one in five INSET days being solely focused on SEN and disabilities training. The campaign will also provide a “conduit for information between ministers, school leaders, SENCOs, teachers, governors and SEN and disability professionals” to raise awareness of key issues.
For the past two years, Nasen has worked with more than 4,000 SENCOs as part of a Department for Education-funded training project. Nasen CEO Lorraine Petersen said: “The feedback from numerous SENCOs is that many teachers do not feel they have the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of many of the complex pupils in their schools.
“This makes it clear that it is simply not enough to call for a higher standard of teaching in SEN; policy needs to reflect this. We need to ensure that teachers are supported and empowered to deliver the first class education that all children deserve, no matter what their abilities are.
“Every teacher is accountable for every pupil’s progress and should understand the needs of all of their pupils, but in order to do this every teacher is entitled to high quality professional development and the support of their peers, the school leadership teams, the education community and the government.”
She continued: “It is only with this sort of grass-roots change that we can be sure we are doing everything we can to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children.”
For details, visit www.nasen.org.uk/everyteacher