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Inclusion in mainstream


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Hi

 

I hope its ok to ask...

 

I am still studying and would be grateful if you could spare a minute to share your experiences as I am about to do a project about the inclusion of children with special educational needs in mainstream school. This could include any level of additional needs.

Did it work for the child, the school, the rest of the class?

Was it a positive or negative experience?

What extra support was needed?

Was it actually the best thing for the child?

 

These sorts of things.

 

Personally my experiences of this are limited but I have to say what I have seen hasn't been too positive and the additional staff were seen as an extra pair of hands if convenient and if not they were in a room with the child and to be honest this was exclusion more than inclusion!

 

Thanks for your time

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What are you studying for?

I could talk forever about mainstream inclusion as a parent of two children with SEN.

The scenarios you describe could be bad practice but they could also be very good practice.

A TA acting as an additional pair of hands in the classroom could free up the teacher so they can differentiate work and offer some one to one teaching to a child. I'd rather my child was taught by a teacher wherever possible.

A child who can't cope with the sensory environment of the classroom may only be able to learn effectively with just a TA in a quiet room. My younger DD spends one fifth of her lesson time in the classroom and the rest working with TAs in a quieter environment. That allows her equality of access to the curriculum and also enables her to attend school through good management of her anxiety. Without this time away from the classroom she would be unable to attend school at all so it is absolutely good inclusive practice.

In my opinion, children with SEN have such diverse needs that, unless you are privy to all the information available, you're unlikely to be able to tell whether their needs are being met in the most inclusive way possible.

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I think it depends on the child and their needs as to whether it works well or not, and how soon / how much support you get.

 

I can picture two little folks one where it worked beautifully and the child concerned came on in leaps and bounds because of having the opportunity to mix with those following a typical pattern of development. She had support from the outset as her needs had been identified before starting with us.

 

The other child had no support for a term when he first started, and this had a huge impact on our setting and our morale. It was obvious that the setting wasn't the right place for him and I don't feel in my heart that we didn't anything for him except to " babysit" him. It was a hugely negative experience.

 

The support we got for the first child was a TA. An extra pair of eyes ears and hands for us! She worked all the hours the child was with us. She was there to step in and shape situations so the outcomes didn't result in anyone being hurt or upset.

 

The other child mentioned above had a support worker, supposedly specialising in special needs and she was useless. Lots of impractical ideas when there were two staff and 22 other children. She came and saw him once a week for about 4 weeks but wasn't really there to do anything except observe. Eventually this child got a one to one TA but again I think he was too much for one person.

This child's parents would not accept there was a huge issue with the development and he ended up in main stream school until the start of year 2.

 

Sorry to be vague but didn't like to go on in too much detail in case anyone knows me or who I am on about!

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I run pre-school so im coming from the 'sending' setting not the receiving one. I think maybe if this is for your studies it would be good to have a firmer idea of what you want us to answer. Your OP has a slightly biased stance because you have added your experiences...this will tend to influence the answers you get from us! I am very happy to answer questions...i've been sending children with sen in to mainstream for the last 15 years and have a daughter with dyslexia who has gone through the system.

Perhaps you could give us a clearer idea of the questions you need answering?

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