Growing disorder

27th June 2003 at 01:00
Don Short, agony uncle, answers your questions

I am concerned by the number of older students who are now attending college who show signs of mental disorders. In some cases these disorders prevent lecturers like myself from teaching them effectively. Many lecturers, burdened by other responsibilities have found it impossible to seek the additional training required to teach these students. My line manager is sympathetic but is not able to offer the necessary training to me.

"Mental disorders" is an ill-chosen phrase. There has been a marked increase in schools of pupils diagnosed with conditions such as dyspraxia, Aspergers and ADHD. If we accept that these conditions have always been around, then many of the 'school failures' that FE is giving another chance may be undiagnosed with such conditions. Good teamwork with learning support units is vital. FE must be prepared for these students, not just prepared to accept the funding they bring; and that means giving teaching staff additional training to cope with them.

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