An additional label is looming

27th June 2003 at 01:00
At last September's conference of the Scottish Support for Learning Association, Gordon Jeyes, director of children's services in Stirling Council, talked of the importance of the language used in describing our work and roles.

Another speaker described "the lie of the label", highlighting the danger of inappropriate language.

The debate on the legislation to replace records of needs shows how important this is. There is a danger that the ineffectual term "pupils with special educational needs" is simply replaced by the label "pupils with additional support needs".

We now have the opportunity to change our thinking to a more meaningful and inclusive term such as "pupils who need additional support", or better still, "pupils who (mayusuallysometimes) need (somehigh levels ofperiodic) additional support".

This year's SSLA good practice awards are focusing on successful partnerships providing additional support for learning. There is pound;1,000 of award money at stake - as well as the reputation of the profession!

Bill Sadler SSLA president Woodside Avenue Grantown on Spey, Morayshire

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