A Poor Deal for Special Needs

Soapbox | E-learning | EducationGuardian.co.uk

Mick Archer, editor of Special Children magazine, maintains that pupils with special educational needs are not getting adequate access to suitable ICT resources, and nowhere is this more pronounced than in mainstream secondary schools. According to a recent survey by the British Educational Suppliers Association (Besa), more than half of secondary Sencos (special educational needs coordinators) felt they were under-resourced in appropriate curriculum software and digital content. This reflects a more widespread resource crisis, as technological innovation gathers pace and schools struggle to keep up. This month a new survey from Besa will highlight the huge discrepancy between the use schools believe they will be making of new technologies in 2010 and current use.

 Organisations representing children with SEN are tired of being treated as the Cinderellas of an education system that claims to be “inclusive”. Increasingly they are arguing for SEN funding to be ring-fenced or for individualised funding where the money is attached to the child.

The article does not clarify whether the survey pertains to the whole of the UK or to England alone.  The reference to SENCO’s implies the latter – no surprises there. However, it is an interesting question as to whether children with ASN are being appropriately provided for.