Key Issues in Special Education: Raising Standards of Pupils' Attainment and Achievement

Key Issues in Special Education: Raising Standards of Pupils' Attainment and Achievement

Key Issues in Special Education: Raising Standards of Pupils' Attainment and Achievement

Key Issues in Special Education: Raising Standards of Pupils' Attainment and Achievement

Synopsis

Considerable challenges can face all those involved in teaching children with special educational needs. Complex policy and legislation, bureaucracy, inspection and limited resources can all appear difficult obstacles to those seeking to provide effective tuition. In this highly practical book, Michael Farrell unpicks and clarifies the role of educational standards in today's schools. Drawing extensively on detailed, real-life case studies, he closely explores such issues as: the definition of standards, identifying and providing for special educational needs, assessment and benchmarking, curriculum provision and target-setting, the role of the Code of Practice. Special educational needs coordinators, senior managers in schools and students completing initial training courses will find this an invaluable resource, which effortlessly simplifies an often complicated process.

Excerpt

This chapter seeks to elucidate terms. I explain what I mean by standards of pupil attainment, pupil achievement and progress, first in general and then with particular reference to pupils with special educational needs (SEN). After considering, in the context of English legislation, different legal definitions of ‘disability’, I examine the legal definition of SEN in the Education Act 1996, which includes definitions both of ‘disability’ and of ‘difficulty in learning’. The chapter then relates the legal definition of SEN to standards of pupil attainment and progress.

I indicate how a consideration of standards pupil attainment and progress helps distinguish pupils with SEN from pupils for whom English is an additional language, pupils with low attainments because of poor educational opportunities, and very able pupils. The chapter examines why it is important that SEN is defined. Finally, I examine how many pupils are believed to need special educational provision, considering the issue of manageability in some schools.

Standards of pupil attainment, standards of pupil
achievement and progress

In this section, I explain what I mean by standards of attainment, standards of achievement and progress. An attempt was made to distinguish attainment and achievement in the Office for Standards in Education Handbooks (OfSTED 2003a, 2003b, 2003c). But the use of the two terms is not always consistent and sometimes the documents speak confusingly of ‘standards achieved’ before going on to discuss standards of attainment as well as standards of achievement (e.g. OfSTED 2003b, p. 43). However, a useful distinction can be drawn between attainment and . . .

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