The truth behind SEN statements in mainstream primary schools
Professor Peter Blatchford is leading a project to examine the nature of the teaching and support of primary school pupils with a statement of special educational need (SEN). Twenty per cent of children in the UK are identified as having SEN, but only 2.7 per cent have a formal ‘statement’ outlining their needs and detailing how they should be supported. There is very little evidence about these children’s experience of the teaching and support they receive, and Professor Blatchford is seeking to address this by tracking the detailed experiences of at least 40 pupils in Year 5 to find out how the reality compares to the provision set out in the statements. As well as observing the classroom experience of children, the research team will analyse transcripts of adult-pupil interaction and interview key people involved in the provision of support.
In May 2012, the government published detailed plans to reform the SEN system, following its SEN Green Paper and consultation period in 2011. The study by Professor Blatchford and colleagues will be crucial in providing evidence for both policymaking and classroom practice.
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