Staff Development

31st March 1995 at 01:00
IDENTIFYING AND ASSESSING SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS: WORKING WITH THE CODE OF PRACTICE By Eric Peagam. 1 85008 116 6. Pounds 45. Framework Press Parkfield, Greaves Road, Lancaster LA1 4TZ

The Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Children with Special Educational Needs has left many schools concerned, confused and looking for further help and guidance. Contained in an A4 ring-binder, this manual is designed to provide trainers and facilitators with material for introducing and exploring the Code of Practice.

The photocopiable worksheets of practical activities and photocopy masters for overhead transparencies are designed to be used as part of a school-based, in-service training programme, although advisers and resource centres would find them equally useful for centre-based training courses.

The materials in the manual may be freely copied, provided that copies are used solely within the institution for which it is purchased. Copies for use in other situations require the prior written permission of the publishers and a fee may be payable.

This manual provides a very clearly structured guide to all aspects of the Code of Practice. The first part deals with the definition and recognition of special educational needs and sets them in the context of what a special educational need is, the management of special educational needs, and identifying individual needs.

The second part looks in a very practical way at writing a school policy for special educational needs and implementing it constructing the policy, working with the local authority and other agencies, recording, monitoring and review, and identifying in-service training requirements and planning further training.

There is a wide variety of practical exercises designed to stimulate active participation and discussion. The aims, timing and resources required for each are clearly set out together with a list of helpful prompts and questions for the trainer or facilitator.

This is an extremely well-thought-out package, presented in an exceptionally clear, stimulating and straightforward way. It should prove to be an invaluable resource for any SENCO or member of a senior management team in a large school charged with responsibility for training in this area.

The package provides a means of actively involving the whole school staff in planning and developing a policy and in strategies for managing special educational needs in the mainstream school.

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