Managing Special Needs in the Primary School

Managing Special Needs in the Primary School

Managing Special Needs in the Primary School

Managing Special Needs in the Primary School


Written with the needs of primary school teachers and heads in mind, this book addresses the implications which the Code of Practice has for primary schools, focusing in particular on issues from the management point of view.


When Timothy started at the local village school he seemed to his teacher to be a bright little boy and she had no suspicion of the problems which he would pose later. His older brother Darren had just moved from her class into the next class and was already reading quite well and making satisfactory progress in mathematics. Timothy seemed to settle down quite easily and enjoy all the activities which she was providing. It was only as time went on that she began to realise that he was not making much progress in reading. She tried to make more time to hear him read, which was not easy in a class of thirty-two infants, but the end of the year came and he still had not really started to read at all. He appeared to be unable to remember any words or sounds from one day to the next.

There were only four classes in the school and after discussing Timothy with the headmistress it was decided that he should spend more time in the infant class and that his teacher should try to give him special attention. He still made almost no progress but at the end of his second year he was moved up into the next class. His new teacher was convinced that helping him was mainly a matter of finding things which interested him and accordingly he made books about trains and foot-ballers, copying large passages out of books quite neatly and illustrating them attractively. Unfortunately he was unable to read what he had written or to write very much by himself and his teacher was at a loss what to do next.

Time passed and Timothy gradually moved up the school, still unable to read although his progress was almost normal in mathematics except where reading was involved. The teachers of the top two classes found this even more of a problem than the teachers of the younger children because their training had not prepared them for a child who was still at the beginning stages of reading and writing. They spent time hearing him read but were not really sure how best to help him apart from this.

At one stage the headmistress suggested to his mother, who was concerned about him, that she should help him at home. She blushed

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