Positive findings of study into support groups

Joan Mowat

I would like to redress the balance of the news item on support groups which appeared in last week's TESS. While it is true that, initially, staff were wary of a new initiative to support pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, it is also true to say that the role which support group leaders and class teachers played in supporting pupils was of immense importance in affecting pupil outcomes.

Among the most important findings of the study were the warmth of relationships which developed between support group leaders and pupils, the support which many classroom teachers provided to pupils in the classroom and the support of senior management in taking forward the approach.

I also stressed that the initiative had served to promote inclusion in the school and that a wide range of other supports for pupils had been put into place subsequently at Vale of Leven Academy. The staff in the school should be commended for their efforts and, in particular, the support group leaders who willingly gave of their services and did a first class job.

I regret that the article did not portray these more positive findings of the study.

Joan Mowat, Rhu, Argyll.

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