Special school staff not trained in SEN

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Most staff members in special schools have no specialist training in SEN, says a new study by the conservative think tank the Policy Exchange. The report revealed that, on average, only 39 per cent of teachers and support staff in the schools surveyed had any qualification in SEN, and only 30 per cent had a qualification directly relevant to the specific needs of the children they were teaching. 26 per cent of schools reported that less than a quarter of their staff had any SEN training.

The survey also revealed that only five per cent of special schools found it easy to recruit properly trained staff, while nearly three quarters reported that they found it hard or very hard to recruit teachers with the right training.

The report recommended that all teachers receive some instruction in SEN as part of their initial training and that additional training should be made available to teachers already in post. It went on to suggest that voluntary bodies or trusts should be engaged to design qualifications for teachers in specialist settings covering the full range of impairments and conditions, as well as qualifications specific to the conditions of the particular children they are working with.

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