Special needs go beyond rhetoric

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
Readers will have noticed the pleasing symmetry of our reports about special needs on pages 4 and 5. One is about the ablest and most talented youngsters; the other is about those with varying degrees of deficits in their learning. But the reports serve to underline the point that those pupils are all on a spectrum of "special" needs. They also represent a microcosm of the challenges facing schools in dealing with diversity, ranging from the talented "obsessives" at one end of the range to those for whom learning to tell the time is a triumph at the other.

The emphasis hitherto has been on pupils who are struggling - partly for its own sake and partly to improve school performance - and the needs of the other special group appear by comparison to have been left out in the cold. But, as campaigners for the latter are now realising, times they may be a-changing. The new rhetoric is about acknowledging creativity and enterprise, listening to pupils and emphasising ambitious, excellent young people (to coin a phrase). Special needs in all their forms should be able to capitalise on it.

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