Special Educational Needs: Providing Additional Support

Special Educational Needs: Providing Additional Support

Special Educational Needs: Providing Additional Support

Special Educational Needs: Providing Additional Support

Synopsis

In the context of social inclusion, the field of special educational needs (SEN) is of great importance. This revised and updated edition of Sheila Riddell's successful work compares SEN frameworks in Scotland and England. The author examines how justice for children with SEN and their parents may be achieved. Questions are raised about the nature of school inclusion, SEN's relationship with social inclusion, and the compatibility of the raising standards and social inclusion agendas. The provisions, practice, and implications of legislation prohibiting discrimination against disabled children in schools are discussed. The central contention of the author is that improving educational provision for children with SEN is likely to lead to better provision for all.

Excerpt

Education for children with additional support needs is an area of great importance not just for 'special education' professionals, but also for parents, children and young people and all those who have an interest in the broad field of education. Exploring the way in which mainstream education policies are experienced by those at the margins provides insights into the limitations or unintended consequences of these policies. Similarly, considering the type of provision made for disabled children and young people reveals a great deal about wider social values and priorities. This book explores the development of additional support needs policies and practices from the eighteenth century to the present and the ways in which these are experienced at grass roots level by key players. Where appropriate, comparisons are made with policy and practice in England, since contrasting Scottish experience with that of other parts of the UK throws Scottish experience into relief and provides insight into the distinctiveness of the Scottish tradition.

The focus of the book is on additional support needs policy as it applies to children. There have also been important developments in policy and practice for young people in the post-16 age group. These are referred to, but the scope of the book does not allow for detailed discussion. The structure of the book is as follows. Chapter 1 provides a brief summary of the development of special educational needs (SEN) policy and practice from the eighteenth century to the reports of the Warnock Committee (DES, 1978) and of the Scottish HMI (SED, 1978). This chapter explores the twin elements at play in provision for children with additional support needs. On the one hand, there has always been a desire to separate out children identified as different from others, emphasising distinctions between groups based on deficits. On the other hand, there has been a growing sense of social obligation to children with additional support needs, accompanied by the recognition that, if they are to make progress, additional resources have to be committed to their education. From the earliest times tensions can be discerned between social inclusion and human capital imperatives. The former suggests that the main purpose of education is to create social cohesion and . . .

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