'Significant proportion' of SEN teaching is being delivered by TAs

New classroom-based research has revealed that there is a heavy reliance on teaching assistants to deliver SEN provision in secondary schools, despite advice in the SEND Code of Practice.

The education of pupils with SEN is still too dependent on under-skilled teaching assistants, despite provisions within the SEND Code of Practice that provision should be underpinned by “high-quality teaching”.

The concerns have been raised in new research, which also warns that serious training insufficiencies mean many school staff are not equipped to meet the needs of pupils with learning difficulties.

Research from the UCL Institute of Education shows that as they approach their GCSEs, a “significant proportion” of teaching for pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) is done by teaching assistants.

The Special Educational Needs in Secondary Education – SENSE – study has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation and is the first research project to examine the experience of pupils with EHCPs in secondary settings.

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