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The march of progress leaves too many behind

The accountability system seems hopelessly inadequate in terms of charting and celebrating the real progress made by children with SEND

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My younger child starts school in September. I don’t think he’s ready. At his age, our elder child was counting beyond 100, writing and reading a host of words and colouring inside the lines. This one stops counting when his fingers run out and if you gave him a pencil he’d eat it.

“What on earth are you worrying for?” said my mum. “Of course they’re not the same: they’re different children. Comparisons are pointless.”

I shook my head sadly. What did she know? She finished her 40 years in the classroom a decade ago. She still believes the job of a teacher is to look at every child’s starting ...

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