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Impact of Statutory and Regulatory Contexts for Special Educational Needs

Info: 8343 words (33 pages) Dissertation
Published: 10th Dec 2019

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Consider the impact of statutory and regulatory contexts for SEND and reflect on the implications for practice in your work setting.


In this assignment I will analyse legislation in relation to special educational needs (SEN) and evaluate literature linking to the idea of ‘inclusion’. I will discuss inclusion by analysing pedagogical theories and practices in the context of teaching and learning for pupils with special educational needs. As well as analysing theories and classroom practices, I will also look at the impact of policies designed to support pupils learning. Inclusion means that all students attend classes in school and are supported to participate in every aspect of school life. Children benefit from inclusive education as it allows them to develop their own individual strengths, work towards individual goals whilst participating in all aspects of school life with other students their own age, develop friendships with a variety of other children and to appreciate diversity on a much wider level. The DFE describe inclusion as “…a process by which schools, local education authorities and others develop their cultures, policies and practices to include pupils.” (2001, Inclusive Schooling: Children with Special Educational Needs). One of the biggest developments relating to the inclusion of children with SEN has been the establishment of teacher standards, these standards provide SEN requirements for teachers to work towards. The purpose of these standards are to ensure that teachers are able to effectively teach SEN pupils, allow them to get the most out of the curriculum and all other aspects of school life; “….they are better equipped to teach them so that they have maximum access to the curriculum and are fully included in the life of the school.” (2009, Special Educational Needs: The Key Concepts, Philip Garner).

Evaluation of government policy and legislation.

Around 1.7 million children are labelled as having a SEN, according to Ofsted the term SEN is too widely used as “half of all pupils would not be identified as having SEN if schools focussed on improving teaching and learning for all.” (2010, The special educational needs and disability review, page 9). This is recognised in some schools because children are not being supported well enough to enable them to access the curriculum and make adequate progress. Ofsted claimed that pupils with SEN were “underachieving because teaching standards were not good enough and expectations of pupils were too low”. This would provide evidence that state schools over-identified pupils so that they can secure extra funding and improve league tables that look more leniently on schools with higher numbers of pupils with SEN. The review concluded that schools need to improve the quality of teaching before pupils are identified as having a SEN “…ensuring that schools do not identify pupils as having special educational needs when they simply need better teaching.” (2010, The special educational needs and disability review, page 8).

The historical perspective towards categorising SEN has engaged debate in attempting to define the term. Under the 1944 Education Act, children with SEN were considered to be “uneducable”, pupils were labelled into categories such as “maladjusted” or “educationally sub-normal” and given “special educational treatment” in separate schools. (2005, House of Commons Special Educational Needs report). In 1978 the Warnock report was published, shortly followed by the 1981 Education Act, these two publications fundamentally changed not only definitions for those with SEN but also what categorised an individual as have a SEN. The idea of inclusion for all was the backbone of the Warnock report and the 1981 Education act focussed on how support can be given to pupils with SEN in either mainstream or specialist schools. Many policies and legislations that came after the Warnock report and the 1981 Education act focussed on the progress being made in schools to include all pupils in mainstream education.

Legislation and policies that followed the Warnock Report identified the progress and changes in the attempt to include ‘all’ children in mainstream education. Warnock’s influence was particularly evident during the late 80’s and early 90’s when there was a substantial decline in the number of pupils in special provisions, an increase in the number of pupils identified as having SEN and an increase in the number of pupils given statements of SEN. “…there has been quite a sizeable decline in the total population of special schools. That was greatest in the 1980’s and flattened out somewhat in the 1990’s.” (As Brahm Norwich, Professor of Educational Psychology and SEN at the University of Exeter 2006.)

Since the Warnock report, pupils had started to integrate from special schools into mainstream schools, the problem was that pupils had been placed into mainstream schools with little differentiation given to SEN pupils, also this introduced another problem, the attitude of other pupils towards those with SEN. “….a new form of segregation within mainstream schools….some of the most challenging pupils are taught by the least qualified members of staff” (1999, Ainscow M, The role of the LEA’s in developing inclusive policies and practices, page 138) Ainscow was suggesting that pupils with SEN faced segration and isolation with integrated into mainstream schools, and more often than not they are supported by teaching assistants. When a pupil is receiving 1 to 1 support, or is removed from the classroom for support it only serves to highlight the difference between a pupil with SEN and a pupil without, this can stop any opportunity for socialising, gaining friends, peer interaction. This is backed up by Wedell (2005) who also thinks that 1 to 1 support isolates pupils “…the velcro-ing of LSAs to pupils sometimes actually becomes a form of within-class segregation.” (Wedell, K (2005) ‘Dilemmas in the quest for inclusion, page 32).

In 1993 the first COP was released which was later embedded into the 1996 Education Act. It specifies the role of a SENCO, setting out clear processes for identifying SEN and the importance of frequent assessments, running objectives and constantly changing provisions.

The COP identifies four main areas of SEN;

  1. Communication and interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social, emotional and mental health
  4. Sensory and/or physical

It states that “Many children and young people have difficulties that fit clearly into one of these areas; some have needs that span two or more areas; for others the precise nature of their need may not be clear at the outset.”

In 2004 ‘Removing Barriers to Achievement DFES’ was released as an additional document to the then current COP. The document considered that “All children have the right to a good education and the opportunity to fulfil their potential. All teachers should expect to teach children with special educational needs (SEN) and all schools should play their part in educating children from their local community, whatever their background or ability. We must reflect this in the way we train our teachers, in the way we fund our schools, and in the way we judge their achievements.” (page 7).

Ofsted spoke to parents and found they felt that after their child had been statemented they assumed that meant it would guarantee additional funding and support from their LEA, additionaly they discovered that a statement did not always lead to high quality, appropriate support. (ofsted 2010) this shows conflict within education policy, and in 2005 Warnocks review on SEN in schools discussed U turn about how pupils are statemented and inclusion. This review contradicts her original report from 1978 and suggested that the current frameworks for the support children with a SEN are a “…disastrous waste of money…must be overhauled.” (Warnock, M. (2005) page 22)

Every Child Matters (ECM) gave a commitment to improving provision for children with SEN and focus on the need of the child, placing the child within the five identified outcomes to: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve     economic well-being.                                                                                                        P.4

It reinforced that “…children and young people learn and thrive when they are healthy, safe and engaged; and the evidence shows clearly that educational achievement is the most effective route out of poverty”.(DfES 2004 online)Contrary to this, some children still face real barriers to learning and some families lack the capacity or ability to provide the best or right home environment for their children to develop, as well lacking confidence and understanding in the obligation and capacity of schools to meet their child’s needs. Tutt and Barthorpe (2006) agree recognising wider issues of funding at a national and locality arrangement level make complex issues towards how the amount of resources – human and monetary are entwined with bureaucracy of the statementing process.  However it is also recognised as a ‘postcode lottery’, claiming it depends on which school you attend or individual family circumstances. (Hutchinson 2008)

It is evident and well documented that there have been several reviews into SEN and disability over recent years.  The House of Commons Education and Skills Committee (HCESC 2005/6) undertook an inquiry and report that there are ‘perceived failings’ in the SEN systems and propose implications for future practice.  It argued that the governments’ policy on inclusion provided confusing messages to local authorities, who needed to implement and update statutory and non- statutory guidance to clarify matters.  The key recommendations made in this review included a major review of the statementing process to ensure correct assessment of need, an efficient and equal share of resources and appropriate placement to high quality provision for children (HCESC 2005/6).  The coalition government latest approach to (SEND) is the document Support and Aspiration (DfE 2011) which makes wide ranging suggestions to respond to the frustrations of children and families, teachers, (LA’s), health professionals and national and local organisations.  The proposals set out in the ‘Green Paper’ derived from views and expertise from the above cohort and recommendations include ; early identification of (SEN) through a single assessment process using Education, Health and Social Care Plan by 2014to replace the statutory SEN


assessment and statement, bringing together the support on which children and their families rely upon (DfE 2011)

Wider reading identified that there is no change in the overall direction on the policy of inclusion other than the commitment in the Green Paper, echoing the Coalition Agreement that the presumption towards inclusion was going to be removed.  ‘We believe the most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care. We will improve diagnostic assessment for schoolchildren, prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools, and remove the bias towards inclusion.’(The Cabinet Office 2011) (P.2).  From a personal perspective the reviews discussed and the changes in legislation all incur reoccurring pressures, time constraints, lack of funding and training implications to ensure consistent approaches and the best outcomes for the individual concerned.

Hundreds of thousands of families have a disabled child or a child with SEN, and parents say that the current systems are bureaucratic, bewildering and do not reflect the needs of the child and their family life (DfE 2011).  Will the ‘Green Paper’ change this view or will policy and practice continue to dominate the decision around the inclusion of children with (SEN)?

How high incidence disabilities affect pupils’ learning and development

It is apparent that it is vital for teachers to have a good knowledge and understanding of the implications of high incidence (H.I) SEN and disabilities and how they can affect pupils’ participation and learning. In this area, a review of legislation, pedagogical theory and influences on applied practice will be demonstrated to provide a clear understanding of such outcome (TDA 1.2).  The COP identifies four areas of SEN and suggest that schools should ensure that the “provision …should match the nature of their needs.”DFES (2001 p.48).  The four areas of need clearly indentifies the SEN type in relation to its category, (Appendix 2) additionally it is recognised that some children often overlap two, three or four of these categories, therefore …                                                                                                     P.6

More important than ‘classification’ is a consideration of what a child will have difficulty with and how teachers and teaching assistants can ameliorate those difficulties.’  Evans (2010 online).

The implications of children with H.I disabilities share characteristics that often display a combination of academic, behavioural and social problems. However research suggests that children can meet the same standards as their peers without disabilities when highly structured interventions are put into place. (Friend and Bursuck 2012 p.204)  Practical approaches in the setting towards meeting the needs of H.I SEN starts with the expectation of quality first teaching (QFT), as a recognised model at national and local level (the effective inclusion of all pupils in high quality everyday personalized teaching) (Appendix 3).  My school setting a high percentage of children are identified as having Speech, Language and Communication difficulties (SLCD), often highlighted as problems with receptive and expressive understanding.  As a result of this problem children often fail to understand instructions or unable to express how they are feeling, which sometimes leads to behaviours that are not seen as appropriate, thus a need or difficulty that may appear to be behavioural is in fact a language difficulty

Therefore it is viewed that the learning environment, teaching approaches and the physical and social environment are as equally important to meet the needs of children.  Resources in forms of human, material and environmental are important in carrying out the requirements of curriculum delivery and government initiatives. The aim of resources are to meet the individual needs of the child, as well as considering learning styles that are appropriate to their needs, is a common feature to teachers addressing QFT focus within practice.  Gravells states that ‘A suitable learning environment is crucial to enable learners to learn effectively.  This involves not only the venue and resources used, but your attitude and support given to learners.’ (2008 p.50)  Knowledge of theories of learning, an awareness of different influences on development and learning, and the varying rates of development are key factors considered when planning and implementing interventions in practice which supports the inclusive approaches of removing barriers.                                                       P.7

Cognitivism is primarily focused on the mind and how internal structures influence how behaviour is learned.  Piaget (cited in Oates 1994, p.46), Saw the child as an active contributor to his or her own learning; acting upon infancy and childhood the structures of the mind change and develop to achieve adaptation.’  Assimilation and accommodation are the two processes of adaptation identified by Piaget.  Through development, patterns of action, schemes are built up and coordinated into developmental stages.  Piaget’s theory suggests that teaching has to be pitched at the level children are operating, (identified as clear cognitive stages). Therefore within practice clear differentiation of learning objectives and teaching tasks are key features towards matching learning to the ability, thus supporting children who have Learning Difficulties (L.D) and may be operating within a different level to their chronological age. The impact of such support reduces anxiety for vulnerable learners and allows them to succeed and achieve, whereas in the past many have seen failure and often disrupted the learning environment as a tactic to disengage in learning.   However a critical stance to this theory suggest that Piaget underestimates the abilities in the childhood stages and that children are in fact capable of demonstrating reasoning abilities at an earlier stage.  Some children (eg.ASD children) may demonstrate more sophisticated, higher level thinking in certain areas but not in others, therefore a profile that will need careful consideration and adjustment will be needed. (Jarvis 2009) (Real Training 2012).

The theories of Vygotsky also play a vital role in the shaping of the classroom climate and supporting children with SEND.  Vygotsky’s theories explain that people learn through social interaction. The setting believes this is true of both academic and social development in order for pupils to learn their optimum. Within practice staff focuses on, establishing a social, active, comfortable, and safe environment to accommodate children’s Social Emotional Behavourial Difficulties (SEBD). Teachers plan lessons to assist children to gain their own knowledge at a rate that is relative to their ‘zone of proximal development.’


As Sewell (1990) cited in Glazzard et al (2011 p. 31) explains this as ‘a point at which a child has partly mastered a skill but can act more effectively with the assistance of a more skilled adult or peer.’                                                                   


The instructional matter emphasises several different ways for information to be gathered to assure that everyone has an equal opportunity to grasp it. Small groups or talk partners, social role play, and whole class discussions, positive modelling and physical cues are all strategies used within practice as a basis of Vygotsky’s theory of social linguistics, allowing pupils to learn through interaction.  However the implication of this practice is that some children with LD and SEBD, weak short term memory, low (IQ) and poor attention may require a more repetitive approach to achieve a mastery level of competence, therefore what might take one day to teach an age expected child could result in a longer term intervention for children with identified SEND.  Another view of the social constructive model is the use of ‘language’ when applied as a scaffolding method.  The use of dialogue and the how children understand it is important. A child with SLCD may not have the required vocabulary to understand the processes involved in mastering the taught concept, therefore differentiation of vocabulary, the amount of spoken language and the use of visual stimulus and props may be the key to overcome this problem.  From observation it has become apparent that some class language used is too technical or inappropriate for certain pupils. Glazzard et al (2011 p. 31) suggest that ‘ For the child with learning difficulties it is important to ensure that the language used is at an appropriate level for the child’s difficulties.’ However it seems that some governmental directives, such as in the new Key Stage 2 SATs arrangements (2013) mean the use of complex language, uncommonly used in the classroom is being tested.

Recognising the implications of HI SEN and the focus of good QFT the impact on development and progression for all children can been evidenced and analysed from a tracking tool used in school called RAISE online which monitors attainment in learning, additionally another tracking tool called Family Fisher Trust monitors children’s


attainment using both academic levels and contextual information such as SEN type, free school meals, looked after child, thus providing a more ‘holistic’ presentation of progress about the child.  As the setting provides specialist provision, all staff is trained to provide high quality personalised teaching which is an attribute of QFT and described as Wave 1, 2 and 3 interventions by National Strategies (DSCF 2008).

Evaluation of procedures and policies for SEN at my school.

My school setting provides local au

thority (LA) residential special provision for children aged four to eleven years.  All pupils have statements of SEN with the principle focus on supporting children’s SEBD.  Additionally some children are identified as having two or more high incidence traits of SEN such as SLCD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Reports and assessments from educational psychologists suggest that the majority of the children are underachieving academically and many have failed to establish successful peer and adult relationships in their previous schools. The SEN of the learners are significant and complex, therefore tasks to ensure that learners are offered a curriculum which is differentiated is evident within the schools policy and practice. This is linked to teachers planning, target setting, assessment, pupils’ individual education plans, intervention programmes and discreet specialist teaching e.g. (Speech and Language – Dyspraxia Programmes – Dyslexia Support)

The primary focus of the schools SEN policy supports the behaviour management policy (BMP) so that both are seen as a transparent cohesion pulling together both learning and behaviour.   Governors, Senior Leadership, staff, additional professionals, parents and the pupil are part of the school community that supports to fundamental approach of having SEND met.   This ethos and approach of such involvement have a focused aim to ‘significantly change the attitude of every child, towards both education and behaviour management.’  Deller (2012 p.1).This focus aim is achieved within the school by ensuring a positive academic and social experience.


This is addressed through the National Curriculum that is differentiated where appropriate to meet the individual needs.  ‘The key test of additional need for action is evidence that current rates of progress are inadequate and where….it will be necessary to take some additional or different action to enable the pupil to learn more effectively.” (Deller 2012 p.2)

Following consultation between the SENCO, teachers, parents and the child, an individual education plan (IEP) and individual behaviour plan (IBP), will be written and will review strategies employed to narrow the gap, providing a systematic approach for teachers, pupils and parents to work in partnership.  Class teachers will organise and differentiate the child’s work and support individuals or groups of children to enable them to access effective curriculum and assessment tasks.  QFT and the graduated Waves approach are clearly established within the school ethos and children have access to all stages in the Wave interventions when necessary. This approach complements the COP and brings the emphasis on personalised learning with a focused aim to close the gap on achievement. An example of these approaches is illustrated in (Appendix 3).

Links with support services from Health, Social Care and Education are firmly established and where a child is seen as not responding to interventions or making progress, the school may seek support and advice from outside professionals.   An example of this may be a child who continues to not to make progress in literacy, despite wave 3 intervention support. A referral to the SENCO along with annotated evidence will instigate a possible assessment from an Educational Psychologist to investigate if possible HI SEN; additional to their primary need has not been identified in their mainstream provision. Therefore changes in the statement of SEN may be a possibility.

The school B.M.P has developed in recent years as a direct result of government policy attempting to address issues of poor behaviour within schools. There has been an acceptance that policies that reflect behavioural approaches need to be broadened to include more collaborative approaches with all involved, when drawing up school B.M.P.             P.11

As identified in the Elton Report, it may be clear to teachers why particular certain rules are necessary in practice, however they are not always clear to pupils and parents. OU E804 (2004 p.172). As a result of this, the school adopted a framework in the B.P that supports Watkins and Wagnes belief (1995) cited in OU E804 (2004 p 171) “addressing a school’s behaviour may involve thinking about intervening in almost every aspect of the way the school is run”.This may include pupil’s behaviour (linked to learning and social behaviour, teacher behaviour such as approaches to managing classrooms and school behaviour such as the organisation and response when difficulties are raised.)   These objectives acknowledges additional documents such as the SEN policy, home school agreement, behaviour management plan for each pupil and teaching and learning activities which emphasis the principle underpinning inclusive, whole school practice, rather than attempting to address isolated areas of school practice.

Approaches within the policy advocate helping pupils to discuss, negotiate and internalise the school ‘code of conduct’ (Appendix 4) within a system that is linked to reward and sanction.  However the content of such rules are superficial and experience has shown some approaches are ineffective when it comes to managing behaviour. For example the point system will target responsible behaviour in a very open and collaborative way, however some children still fail to take responsibility and respond appropriately to the code of conduct and learning, which work in partnership with the point system.

Clearer links are needed, between the school (BMP) and a curriculum that focuses on conduct of learning. The SEAL programme developed by the government National Strategies supports this idea and provides a framework that is described in terms of direct focused learning opportunities for whole classes, across the curriculum outside formal lessons and as part of small group work. Teachernet (2012) [online]. This curriculum focus to this national strategy allows teachers to construct a morally rich curriculum framework from early years throughout the key stages and make links with a wide range of citizenship issues across the


life of the school and wider community, optimizing opportunities to promote social, emotional, academic and moral responsibility.


This assignment has allowed developing reflection, critical analysis, reviewing techniques using theoretical literature and legislation on findings about the delivery of (SEN) and inclusive provision within education.  It became clear that legislation and theory has placed a greater focus towards the development of a whole school polices, that needs to address an inclusive approach for supporting SEND.  However in response to political reviews, national and global recommendations, current changing legislation and the individual needs of every child, staff training is seem to be important and necessary to all, especially newly qualified teachers and newly trained support staff.  As Lamb (2009 p.29) points out that ‘We therefore need to build a better understanding of SEN and disability into every aspect of training: at every level of the system; in subjects and curriculum development; and for teachers with a range of different responsibilities.’  Would this be the case if teachers had sufficient SEN and Behaviour Management training during their initial training process?  The Steer Committee, (ATL 2009), states that school staff should be given training on high incidence (SEN) such as behaviour and discipline, but this should also be included in initial teacher training.

The developments of inclusion in England has seen many reviews, reports and enquires that have developed a critical stance over educational policy, some which have been highlighted within this assignment. An interesting perspective stated by Apple (n.d) cited in Hodkinson (2012 p5) suggest that there is a move from a ‘position of supporting students needs to student performance’ and from what the school does for the student to what the student does for the school.’  This implies that inclusive policy and practice may have a bigger agenda to the advantage of the school and government statistical league tables which may provide an argument for politicians that inclusion and inclusive approaches are working and have a place in our schools.



1.      2009 Special Educational Needs: The Key Concepts

By Philip Garner

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  2. House of Commons (2005) Special Educational Needs [online] available @ www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm2000506/cmselect/…/478i Accessed (12th October 2012)
  3. 2004 ‘Removing Barriers to Achievement DFES’ http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/http://education.gov.uk/publications/eorderingdownload/dfes%200117%20200mig1994.pdf  ACCESSED (20TH MAY 2017)
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Appendix 1 – Summary of question asked to colleagues


The question presented to colleagues was To what extent does the human rights argument for inclusion ignore the diverse, unique capacities, interest and learning needs for pupils?’  This question was asked at a ‘teacher in service meeting’ and debated / discussed within a team of 4 teachers and 2 senior leadership members.  To support the thinking around this issue I provided colleagues with a critical review paper by Geoff Lindsay (2003) Inclusive Education a critical perspective.


This rational behind this question was inspired when I reviewed this paper, therefore this opportunity allowed me to challenge colleagues thinking, by getting them to reflect on the notions of inclusion and the ethos within practice in relation to the need of special school provision.

One of the most reflective themes that I have identified, having read published articles and additional wider reading is that the term Inclusion is problematic in the sense of the ways society views the use and the various ways it is understood. Supporting this Lindsay (2003 p.3) articulates that “Inclusion is, however a complex and contested concept and it manifestations are many and various”

Continuing reading Lindsay’s critical review made me accept that the term human rights can be associated with social justice, removing barriers, access, fairness and choice as Visser and Stokes (2003) points out that there are different kinds of rights “Legal rights, civil and human rights.”

In response to the question a colleague clearly identified that this critical view emphasis that an increased number of pupils who in the past might have been educated in special school provision are now the majority of pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) educated in mainstream schools.  This became the debate of the rights to inclusion within the Salamanca Statement (UNESCO 1994) when clause 4 and 5 in the statement suggest children having access to ‘regular’ schooling.  Therefore the colleague argued asking is the system fair too all children, as inclusion might be politically driven, rather than taking a fair interest in the individual needs of the child.  Some colleagues clearly identified that the social model strongly focus on the environmental factors outside of the identified SEN suggesting that this model could divert too much attention aware from the support and specialised intervention children really need.  A member of the senior leadership team agreed with the claims of Lynsay (2003) suggesting that the social model supports the human rights argument for the inclusion of SEN in mainstream schools; however individual characteristics and learning needs of individual children tend to be ignored.

Overall the clear theme that arose from this question supports the need of having specialised provision for some children with SEN.  It is clear that a bias towards the responses to this discussion could be informed by staff working and delivering an ethos of SEN provision.  Identifying that inclusion is a policy driver within national, international and local systems it therefore right to suggest that influences of this policy inform school policies within SEN settings.  An example can be illustrated as, if children with disabilities are pupils of SEN schools; they too have a right to a quality of education that is broad and balanced within the national curriculum framework.  Progress may differ in SEN provision than national expectations; however attainment can be recognised using an inclusive assessment approach linked to the school polices of the diverse learning needs children present.

This reflection has made me critically aware of how Inclusion is interpreted by research, policy and practitioners.  This has allowed me to engage in deeper analysis towards clearly identifying and implementing specific inclusive approaches for children with SEN in a special need provision so that the diverse, interest and learning needs are acknowledged for all pupils.                                                                                                                            P.17

Appendix 2

Fig 1. Area of Need and SEN Type

Cognition and learning Moderate-severe/multiple/complex learning difficulties
Specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia)
Down’s syndrome
Fragile X
Communication and interaction Autistic spectrum disorder
Speech and language difficulties
Attachment disorder
Behavioural, emotional and social Challenging, attention-seeking
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Selective mutism
Sensory and physical Hearing/visually impaired
Physically disabled (cerebral palsy etc)

Evans (2010) [online]



Appendix 3 –


What do we really mean by ‘quality first teaching’?

We investigate definitions of quality first teaching and in particular consider how it applies when teaching gifted and talented pupils

The National Strategies suggest that the key to success with all learners is quality first teaching (QFT). This has been used as a mantra across the strategy in guidance, tools, resources and the numerous events the Strategies run across the country. It is surprisingly hard, given their raft of publications, to find positive and useful illustrations of what this universal truth is actually supposed to look like.

QFT originates in the then DCSF’s guide to personalised learning published in 2008 which summarises its key characteristics as:

  • highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives
  • high demands of pupil involvement and engagement with their learning
  • high levels of interaction for all pupils
  • appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining
  • an emphasis on learning through dialogue, with regular opportunities for pupils to talk both individually and in groups
  • an expectation that pupils will accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently
  • regular use of encouragement and authentic praise to engage and motivate pupils.

(DCSF, 2008) Personalised learning – a practical guide 00844-2008DOM-EN

Quality first teaching is also described as the Wave 1 of the National Strategies’ three Waves of Intervention.

Wave 1 – inclusive quality first teaching

Wave 1 is about what should be on offer for all children: the effective inclusion of all pupils in high-quality everyday personalised teaching. Such teaching will, for example, be based on clear objectives that are shared with the children and returned to at the end of the lesson; carefully explain new vocabulary; use lively, interactive teaching styles and make maximum use of visual and kinaesthetic as well as auditory/verbal learning. Approaches like these are the best way to reduce, from the start, the number of children who need extra help with their learning or behaviour.

Wave 2 is targeted catch up provision for groups to ‘put children back on course’ and Wave 3 a deeper intervention offering more personalised solution to be used if Wave 2 hasn’t worked.


http://www.optimus-education.com/what-do-we-really-mean-quality-first-teaching (Accessed January 2103)










The School has a Code of Conduct. The Code states that at ……….we will:

Be polite to everyone so that we are all happy.

Follow instructions to help us be successful

Respect others so that they may also learn

Respect the school building and all of the property in it because it belongs to us

Walk in school so that we all stay calm

Stay in school so that we all stay safe

This is linked to a reward and sanction ladder. Features of this system are that, it will be taught, understanding will be checked, and reminder sessions given. The rules will be in operation all day, every day. There is a requirement that the pupils will follow the rules. Pupils will be encouraged and helped to keep the rules and a reward system will be in operation, rewards will be given fairly.

Pupils who choose to break the rules will receive sanctions.


The points system used by the School is constantly evolving, as it adjusts to suit the special educational needs of the children, this is a natural process.


To reinforce/reward desirable behaviour, both in class, around school, lunchtimes, on outside visits, and during residence or extended days

To reward specific academic and behavioural targets within a structured system which allows children to experience success

To guide, support and encourage children to take responsibility for their behaviour, to help them to develop self control, and to have a joint ownership of the targets that are set

To help children experience trust and respect and to gradually develop a potential for independent learning in a variety of contexts

























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