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Developing Special Schools as Placements in Initial Teacher Training 25 th June 2012 Dr Melanie Peter Senior Lecturer in Education Anglia Ruskin University,

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Presentation on theme: "Developing Special Schools as Placements in Initial Teacher Training 25 th June 2012 Dr Melanie Peter Senior Lecturer in Education Anglia Ruskin University,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing Special Schools as Placements in Initial Teacher Training 25 th June 2012 Dr Melanie Peter Senior Lecturer in Education Anglia Ruskin University, UK

2 A Quiz! How many disabled children are there in the UK (2009)? Is this figure rising or falling? By what percentage? What is the survival rate (percentage) of children born prematurely at 26 weeks? 31 weeks? How many children in a small primary school of 100 pupils will be pre-term?

3 The education of children with SEN is ‘not fit for purpose’ House of Commons Select Committee (2006) ‘We must now strengthen support for teaching children with SEN in school to ensure we have the right expertise in place in the classroom’. Alan Johnson, Education Secretary, 2006 ‘These children need properly organised provision from specifically trained teachers and support staff’ Steve Sinnott, Gen Sec of the NUT

4 The Lamb Enquiry, 2009 Improving parental confidence and outcomes for children: implications for Higher Education Institutions and training providers Equipping the workforce Preparing for partnerships Planning-to-meet-needs/All/m05p010b.html#

5 Potential to enhance the trainee experience Greater coherence for trainees gaining from special schools/SRBs within ITT Inform the respective roles for future partnership between ARU and training special schools, in line with the government intentions for increased school-based teacher training Inform the development of possible specialist PGCE degrees in Inclusion and SEN-D with QTS, in response to the growing call from our partnership of schools and nationally Inform school-based placements across disciplines in relation to children with SEN-D Strengthen multi-agency input on professional training programmes across Faculties Enhance diversity of trainees through national and international reputation and recruitment.

6 ‘Teaching SLD/PMLD is considered an area of specialist expertise, with higher status and value, attracting some of the best applicants’ Salt Review, 2010 Where do we want to be?

7 Watch the clip of an English session in a special school classroom… What do you think might be some of the training challenges –A) for a trainee? –B) for a visiting tutor? –C) for a placement mentor? Considering-communication-and-interaction/All/m06p040a.html

8 Some issues for SEN-D in Initial Teacher Training High support needs for trainees due to: Complexity & individuality of placements Emotional support for trainees Ensuring compliance with QTS The changing SEN population: 25% of children with SLD and PMLD are now in mainstream schools (Salt Review, 2010) Preparing trainees for educating children with complex needs Engaging with research for ‘new generation pedagogy’ (Carpenter 2010) Stipulations for gaining professional standards Eg Teaching Agency experience in consecutive age ranges -not demands of types of provision - hampers developmental placements in special schools

9 Project aims To evaluate the impact of differentiated placement structures and practice tools to support trainees in special schools/mainstream specialist resource bases (SRBs) within ITT To identify strategies for sustaining trainees developing specialism in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN-D) on placement in specialist context To identify implications for the respective roles of the provider and training special school in the changing professional context

10 Anticipated project outcomes 1. a differentiated developmental placement design to support trainees on alternative and assessed special school/SRB placements 2. strategic deployment of TDA and other materials to support trainees on special school/SRB placements in their direct work with children with SEN-D, including those with CLDD 3. issues and strategies for mentoring trainees on ITT across levels in specialist placements 4. guiding issues, principles and strategies for work-based learning placements on professional training courses for working with children with SEN-D across disciplines

11 Training and Development Agency: SEN-D developments in ITT TDA ‘SEN Training Toolkit’ – Primary and Secondary’ - flexible sets of materials 2008: undergraduate, Primary & Secondary 2009: PGCE Specialist placements since 2008 – 4 x week extended placements in special schools / Specialist Resource Bases (paired placements) Establishment of regional SEN clusters and networks – ARU is the Eastern Region facilitator

12 On-line training resources for SEN-D ‘The Salt materials’ Training resources for special education for the 21 st Century Severe learning difficulties Profound and multiple learning difficulties Complex learning difficulties and disabilities ‘The Lamb materials’ Advanced training materials for Autism, Dyslexia, Speech, Communication and Language Needs, Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties

13 The Teaching Agency’s vision for ITT for Inclusion and SEN – Anglia Ruskin University 2012 CORE SKILLS All trainees ADVANCED SKILLS Some trainees SPECIALIST SKILLS A few trainees Specialist module for PGCE - severe & complex needs focus Possible specialist PGCE (tbc by TA) Final 3 rd year / PGCE placement in a special school or SRB SEN module in 2 nd year; preparatory workshops for special school placement Extended 2 nd year / PGCE enrichment placement in a special school Inclusion/SEN embedded on all modules; intro to signing workshops Optional 2- week specialist enrichment placement in 2 nd year / PGCE

14 What should a newly qualified professional (teacher) be able to do competently in relation to children with SEN? How might a specialist placement enable a trainee to meet professional standards? What will be the support needs of trainees at different levels? What barriers might there be for hosting placements for trainees in a special school & how could these be overcome? What should be the design of a developmental training structure in the specialist context? What sensitive issues might arise with regard to trainees? Key issues for mentoring:

15 Practical issues for mentoring Number of adults to children ratio in classes Low numbers in primary age range specialist provisions, especially in MLD Best staff (role models) are across the age range, not just primary Children on 2 school rolls, or move between mixed specialist provision & base class Management of mentoring of more than one trainee Specialist teachers (eg physiotherapist, speech therapist, music therapist) – affects the teaching context

16 Newly Qualified Teacher – New QTS Standards 1.Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils 2.Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils 3.Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge 4.Plan and teach well structured lessons 5.Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils 6.Make accurate and productive use of assessment 7.Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment 8.Fulfil wider professional responsibilities

17 Specialist placements at ARU : 10 x 2 nd year trainees paired in 4 x special schools & 1 x mainstream Specialist Resource Base (SRB) : 4 x 1 st year and 6 x 3 rd year trainees paired in split placements in mainstream schools with Specialist Resource Bases : 6 x 2 nd year trainees paired in 2 x day special schools and 1 x residential school : 14 x 2 nd year trainees on 4 week extended enrichment placement in special schools 3 x 3 rd year trainees on final ASSESSED 7-week school placement in special schools 1 x PGCE trainee on final ASSESSED school placement in a mainstream hearing impaired provision

18 Developmental placement structure for SEN contexts PLACEMENTEXPECTATIONSADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES LEVEL 1: INCLUSIVE MAINSTREAM PRIMARY CLASS 50% of teaching by final week Teach & track a child with SEN – build up a portfolio case study Observations of the child with SEN Shadowing of SENCO, specialist teacher, LSA Plan & teach lessons LEVEL 2: SPECIAL SCHOOL / SRB – enrichment placements, 2 or 4 weeks Directed tasks Teach routine sessions (eg snack time, register/hello, end of day) Plan a whole morning/afternoon Innovate a story-based session Work up to taking over up to 40% of teaching daily timetable in special school class Observations of child(ren) & planning across range of contexts Planning for LSA Some teaching – under direction LEVEL 3 & PGCE: Final 7-week placement in SPECIAL SCHOOL / SRB Teach up to 70% of timetable Attending & contributing at reviews & related meetings (10%) Plan teaching of Individual Education Plans (individual priority needs) across contexts Planning for extended opportunities in partnership Observation of outreach support role

19 Evaluation 1. Evaluation of effectiveness of the differentiated placement design to support trainee progress 2. Evaluation of materials to support trainees at different levels in their direct work with children with SEN-D, including CLDD 3. Identify issues and strategies for mentoring trainees across levels in special schools / SRBs 4. Articulation of key guiding issues, principles and strategies for SEN-D placements on professional training courses

20 Data gathering & analysis Evaluative questionnaires post-placement to trainees (2-week, 4- week and 7-week) Evaluative questionnaires post-placement to school mentors Analysis of observation feedback and tutorial notes from visiting tutor and school mentors Analysis of session evaluations to preparatory workshops Analysis of evaluations from school mentors attending SEN-D Mentoring Events at ARU Analysis of student perceptions – reflective journals, trainee presentations to peers

21 Overall achievements & gains - trainees Empathic relationships with pupils with SEN Confidence – making a difference A strong sense of identity - personal & professional Knowledge and understanding of specialist provision Understanding of inclusion Regard for special educators Acquiring specific skills –Communication approaches –Differentiation –Team-working –Care aspects –Observation –Holistic regard –Behaviour approaches –Specialist interventions

22 ‘…those involved in SEN are special themselves and seem to have that little bit more to give’ ‘The school, staff and pupils make a wonderful place to be every day and an unforgettable experience’ ‘The placement has given me a lot more confidence in myself as a trainee teacher’ ‘The mentors in the school were very supportive and helpful throughout’ ‘This pilot scheme has inspired me to gain extra experience’ in a SEN setting’ ‘I can positively say that our mentor could not do any more than she did… and was an inspiration to me’ ‘I have enjoyed every single minute, it was an invaluable experience…THANK YOU!!!’

23 Quality mentoring Personalised placement Value of paired placements & peer support Cascading of mentoring Emotional nurturing – provision of an outlet Keep reflective learning journals Brief class team and rest of staff Study time protected Daily feedback, debrief Extended debrief on Fridays, but ‘open door’ Allow to make mistakes – take risks Challenge – extend trainee, high expectations, innovate, praise successes 3-way trust, with University Placement Tutor – negotiate development targets, personalised support Developmental placement design

24 ‘The UPT visits were very helpful… discussions were very useful for my own development as a mentor and teacher’ ‘The assessment descriptors were very helpful, also the quality of the students was very high. They rose to the challenge and listened… it was hard to hold back their keenness!’ ‘It has been a really rewarding experience watching the trainees grow in skill and confidence’ ‘Special education deserves this specialist input at teacher training level’ I learned a lot from the UPT and hope she learnt from me as well’ It gave a boost to our staff…we are a good school with much to offer training in SEN ‘…it was useful to have a continuing relationship with the university during the placement… to see that both institutions were working in the same way’ ‘It has been a privilege to input to a new initiative’

25 Overall achievements & gains - university Developmental placement structure Mentoring support for schools Expertise within hubs Personalising placements Strategies for diversity Strengthening the curriculum Inclusive ethos Peer support for SEN amongst trainees Networking with other providers National prominence!

26 Ofsted, May 2012 SEN – A particular feature of the provision! ‘the lead taken by the university in a number of developments – such as … in the teaching of primary age pupils with special education needs– these are clear signs of restored self-confidence and of the confidence that others have in the work of the university’ SEN - A key strength! ‘as a result of improvements in the training, trainees’ ability and confidence in promoting pupils’ good behaviour and teaching early reading and pupils with different needs and abilities’.


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