To label or not to label

4th October 1996 at 01:00
Psychologists should not be afraid of labelling learning problems, Bryan Kirkaldy of Fife, told his colleagues.

Fears about stigmatising particular handicaps have made this a controversial issue, and several fellow psychologists expressed unease.

Mr Kirkaldy was challenged by Ian McEwan, principal psychologist in Dumfries and Galloway, who suggested that labelling was a comfort to schools "who want to be absolved from responsibility for a child's failure by sticking a fancy label on it".

Mr McEwan also urged caution in applying labels to conditions such as autism, the incidence of which had increased in his area since the arrival of a GP with an interest in the subject. "Frankly I don't believe the figures."

Mr Kirkaldy stressed, however, that parents would continue using labels and psychologists had to "engage" with them.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now