Teacher Training - 'Excellent' knowledge for all

25th March 2011 at 00:00

Every teacher will be expected to have "excellent knowledge and skills" to support children with special educational needs, under the Government's plans.

Children told Ms Teather during a consultation leading up to the green paper that they were "frustrated" because staff had an "insufficient understanding" of their conditions or needs. Teachers also said they wanted more specialist training.

There will be more placements in special schools for trainee teachers, a new scholarship programme will fund teachers to study higher level qualifications in SEN and teaching assistants and support staff will also get funding for extra training under the proposals.

Professor Chris Husbands, director of London University's Institute of Education, said the developments were "exciting" and "welcome".

"The Government is right not to move towards specialist initial training in SEN which would create a division between those who work with children who have special needs and those who work with mainstream provision," he said.

There will be new online training for teachers about profound, complex and multiple learning disabilities, as well as autism, dyslexia and behavioural problems.

The Department for Education has also promised to continue to fund training for special educational needs co-ordinators this year.

Special schools are now able to become teaching schools, but many local authorities are also cutting the number of SEN support staff, which will mean a reduction in the amount of specialist outside help available to schools. It is not known yet how much money will be available for the special school placements or scholarships.

Staff in colleges will not miss out on the extra training available, under the green paper plans. DfE officials will work with colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Learning and Skills Improvement Service to develop SEN and disability training for them.

Heads will learn about SEN through the reformed National Professional Qualification for Headship and the new "specialist leaders of education" - deputy and assistant heads, will be employed to work across different schools sharing their SEN expertise.

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