With reports of SEND pupils being increasingly “pushed out” of mainstream schools and into special schools, we wanted to highlight the importance of SEND pupils being included in mainstream settings wherever possible.
There is a legal duty to ensure that all children are educated in a mainstream setting, except for the following circumstances:
Some children with special needs or disabilities require teachers and support staff to have specialist training in order to help them with their day-to-day learning and activities. Other children require specialist accessibility equipment or environment adjustments for sensory needs. For many of these pupils, attending a special school is the best option for them, as they can ensure their specialist needs are met by experts.
However, many pupils with special needs can and do fit in in a mainstream school, and it’s important for them to have this experience if they can, as it introduces the pupils to a range of different people with varying abilities and needs, which most closely replicates the people and environments they will encounter throughout their lives.
More and more mainstream schools are expanding their SEND provision, including specialist units for specific needs and hiring extra SEND-trained staff, so pupils attending special needs schools are more supported than ever.
Not only is SEND inclusion in mainstream schools beneficial for many pupils with special needs, it is also of benefit for their mainstream peers. A mixture of mainstream and SEND pupils in a school teaches all pupils to be mindful of the needs and requirements of those around them, and allows for all pupils to make friends with children with a range of abilities and needs and from a variety of backgrounds.
It is part of the official DfE Teachers’ Standards to ‘have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs’, and as such it’s important not just for your pupils, but for your career and continued development as a teacher to include pupils with SEND requirements in the mainstream classroom.
This experience will also help you to make a move into special needs teaching exclusively if you ever decide to.
When discussing and reading about SEN(D) you will undoubtedly come across many acronyms and other jargon, which can be confusing – no matter how long you’ve worked within SEND provision.
At Engage, we’ve developed a fantastic SEND jargon buster, which you can download here. Print it out by your desk, or just keep a copy on your device, and never get stuck again!
Teachers and support staff who work with Engage have spent over 700,000 hours in more than 3,400 vacancies in SEND schools, changing lives and meeting the various and often complex needs of SEND pupils.
Whether you have years of SEND experience, or you’re just starting out, find out how you can have an impact by registering today. Your own personal SEND consultant will work with you hand in hand to find your dream job in a SEND vacancy.