Meeting The Learning Needs Of Children

Submitted By kimsankey123
Words: 3538
Pages: 15

The focus of this assignment will be meeting the learning needs of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), initially looking at inclusion, in it’s historical context; progressing to approaches used within Landgate School to facilitate their pupils access to a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’. The hypothesis being that ‘Inclusion’ is not merely a term used for including children with SEN in mainstream schools, but a right for all individuals within any educational system; allowing access and participation at the appropriate level of each pupil.
Post war saw children with disabilities segregated from their normally developing peers. The Education Act 1944 (Butler Act) included eleven categories of disability with guidance outlining the provision for children affected by physical and mental handicaps. A proportion of children categorized as ‘severely subnormal’ were deemed uneducable and were placed in junior training centers, hospitals or special care units. This segregated education system was viewed as benefiting disabled students by giving them access to specialist teaching, care and equipment. During this period class sizes were large and resources scarce. It was believed that including children with disabilities disadvantage non disabled pupils due to the additional requirements they would have for resources and teacher time. The Educational (Handicapped Children) Act 1970 made severely mentally handicapped children, previously cared for by the Health Authority, the responsibility of the Local Education Authorities (LEA). This change gave every child the right to an education, including those previously deemed uneducable. This may have been due to societies changing views on disability. Many people saw this segregation as a breach of civil rights, viewing it as immoral. Some even believed it to be a form of social control. “Barton and Tomlinson (!984) espoused the view that special education had been structured to cater for social and political interests by excluding from the mainstream, students who for various reasons did not fit in the norms and practices most valued by society, particularly in terms of economic productivity.” (Jenkinson 1997:P16)
Although it would be hard to prove that social control played a role in early government reforms in Special Educational Needs, it is clear that segregation set out to shield society from those classified as disabled; removing them from communities and ‘hiding’ them from public view. Changes needed to be made to empower this group of students and their families, bringing them back into education of handicapped children and young people ( The Warnock Committee) was set up to;-
“…review educational provision in England, Scotland and Wales for children and young people handicapped by disabilities of the body and mind, taking account of the medical aspects of their needs, together with arrangements to prepare them for entry into employment; to consider use of resources for these purposes”. (Farrell 2000;P176)
As a result of this report and the subsequence Education Act 1981, the term ‘Special Educational Needs’ was introduced to replace the earlier categories of disability, viewing a child as having a ‘learning difficulty’ if he or she; A) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his/her age B) has a disability which either prevents or hinders him/her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided in schools, within the area of the local authority concerned, do children of his/ her age C) is under five and could fall into either of these categories if special provision was not made. (Ibid P177)
The report discussed how children within the original disability categories could be ‘Stigmatized’ by their label. It went on to evaluate how grouping children by disability did not take into consideration other contributing factors. These included multiple difficulties or disorders, the broad