Towards inclusion? : an evaluation of a school's inclusion of puils with moderate learning difficulties.
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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This study was prompted by three documents. The first, a report by OHMCI (1997) entitled "The Implementation of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice in Primary Schools in Wales" found that standards of achievement were unsatisfactory in 16% of lessons obsewed and poor in 1%. Quality of learning was unsatisfactory in 18% and poor in 2% of lessons observed. Schools were urged by the report to monitor and evaluate the quality of their provision for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) The second document was a University of Newcastle study (Crowther et al, 1998) on costs and outcomes for pupils with moderate learning diffîculties (MLD) in special and mainstream schools. The study found that mainstream costs were lower, for similar pupils, than special school and Unit costs. It suggested that more attention should be focussed on whether resourcing for special needs provision is 'efficient, equitable and effective'. The third document, the National Standards for Special Needs Co-ordinators (D.F.E.E., 2000) also urged special needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) to assist in the evaluation of the effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEN. Inclusion is currently advocated by the Government as a vehicle to raising standards. Consequently, this study is an investigation into the effectiveness of a school's inclusion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN). It attempts to evaluate present arrangements, ascertain the specific factors that contribute to the effectivcness of this inclusion and review policy and practice in the light of evidence gathered. Data was collected via pupil questionnaires, teacher interviews and lesson observations. The report concludes that the school has a firm foundation on which to build. There is scope for improving inclusive provision for pupils with SEN at the school however and the report includes proposals for possible changes in practice, such as alternative classroom organisation and use of learning support assistants, which may result in achieving this.
MA Education Thesis
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