Ofsted comments on Special Needs Children

Ofsted the body in the UK that that is tasked with the standards in our schools has made comment to the effect that there would be less children in special needs if we had better teachers.

On the face of it an odd suggestion or comment from the very body that checks on the standards and quality of teaching in our schools.

Is it suggesting that the number of children that are now identified as needing special educational needs are perhaps just children that are emotionally unable to adjust to the environment of learning found in most schools? If so even the most inspiring teacher will find them challenging and will need to give them a disproportionate amount of their time. With many schools having 30 plus children in a class, 2 or more children who are disruptive can present even the best teachers with challenges.

I use the term disruptive because in the main the form of behaviour of these individual children is disruptive, mostly as a result of their frustration at not being able to do and understand what their peers are able to. Many have emotional problems either from their home and family life, whilst others have learning problems as a result of physical or mental disabilities.

I talk from experience as my two girls had a problem that was a form of dyslexia that caused them to be unable to read books or from a whiteboard. At our own expense we had them both checked by a specialist who found that they both needed coloured lens, one yellow the other a shade of blue. As a result both my girls became better readers and now enjoy reading novels and both are still  pursuing their goals by attending college on day release.

They both struggled to learn because of their problem. Were they disruptive? Most likely, one more than the other, by their constant talking as a means to find out what was on the board etc. I know that they were not special needs, but even the teachers at a school classed as  outstanding by Ofsted found they could require more of their time at the expense of the rest of the class.

Most schools would have had a least two inspections since the inception of Ofsted. As a result both strength and weaknesses would have been identified and actions required to rectify the weaknesses. Therefore, the majority of poor teachers should no longer be in the school system. Or has Ofsted been failing in it’s duty by being less that specific in the actions it deems necessary to remedy problems it finds in schools, especially with respect to teachers and teaching assistants?

Incidently, I am amazed that even today very little if any time is given to giving children the skills required to study.

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