V. Stroggilos and Y. Xanthacou
European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol.21, 2006, p.339-349
Individual education plans (IEPs) are thought to be more effective when designed and implemented by a multidisciplinary team. The IEP process has been considered to be a tool for inter-professional collaboration and communication. Case studies of IEP development for 10 pupils with profound and multiple learning disabilities in five English schools showed that they were being designed in a discipline-referenced way and outside of a multi-disciplinary framework. Goals were not shared between teachers and other professionals working with the child. Parents’ involvement in the design and implementation of their child’s IEP was also limited. In order for IEPs to function as a collaborative tool for the education of pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties, broader goals applicable to all the people working with the child should be incorporated and the IEP should be evaluated twice a year instead of every six weeks to give parents and other professionals a chance to join review meetings.
J. MacBeath and others for the National Union of Teachers
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education, 2006
This report assesses the impact of inclusion/integration policies for special needs children on schools, teachers, pupils and parents. While the report highlights many negative aspects of inclusion, it is not damning of the theory in itself. It argues that cases must be judged on their own merits, and that some special needs children will, in some circumstances, benefit from inclusion while others will not. In all situations children should be provided with the most appropriate education in the most appropriate environment with adequate resourcing and training of staff. The report highlights particularly the problems for staff if they are not trained to cope properly with special needs pupils.
Child, vol.32, 2006, p.543-552
Little rigorous research evidence exists to guide educational provision for children with autism. Practitioners and parents alike are keen to get access to good information on how best to educate autistic children. In this context the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health convened a working group of experience practitioners and parents to produce good practice guidelines. This paper describes the structure and content of the guidance, and then suggests why research evidence is sparse and how future research might be enhanced to inform practice.
International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol.16, 2006, p.37-55
Bristol is frequently portrayed as an early provider of comprehensive education, with the earliest such schools opening in 1954. This article, based on interviews with pupils who attended these schools between 1954 and 1963, argues that during these years they operated not as comprehensives but as rigidly selective bilateral schools that continued a process of classification that began in primary school. The bilateral schools did indeed include grammar and secondary modern streams within the same physical site, but did not offer curricular flexibility and continued opportunity and perpetuated a rigid divide between grammar and secondary modern pupils.
Public Finance, July 28th-Aug. 3rd 2006, p.22-24
Reports that a growing number of schools are actively considering moving to trust status under the Education and Inspections Bill before Parliament. There is also scepticism among experts that the new statutory code on admissions will in practice prevent schools from selecting bright middle class children and avoiding offering places to the disadvantaged. Finally, it is becoming clear that there will be huge problems for schools in offering the 14 new vocational diplomas which will run alongside GCSEs and A levels. They will be unable to cope on their own, and will need to work in collaboration with local further education colleges to deliver the new curriculum.
M. Ainscow, T. Booth and A. Dyson
International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.10, 2006, p.295-308
The UK government has promulgated a range of guidance documents exhorting schools to increase the participation of all groups of learners who have historically been marginalised. At the same time it has pursued a second agenda focused on the introduction of reforms aimed at driving up standards, especially in national literacy, numeracy and science tests. This paper reports on an action research study which explored how 25 unexceptional schools could develop inclusive, cultures, policies and practices in this unsympathetic policy environment.
The Daily Telegraph, Aug.24th 2006, p.1
This story reports on the reignited debate over falling linguistic skills among secondary school children. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority found that last year nearly half of the pupils in two thirds of schools were dropping languages, following the scrapping by government of compulsory lessons for over 14s. Teachers’ unions said that this created a ‘linguistic elite’ with only the brightest students taking up languages. The shadow education secretary said that making second language learning optional jeopardised the job prospects of young people in the international market.
Quality Assurance in Education, vol.14, 2006, p.199-216
In spite of successive UK government initiatives, raising the level of pupils’ overall school attendance has proved difficult. This article presents a case study of a school-based scheme for improving attendance which is compliant with current legislation. It involves a whole-school, zero-tolerance approach for addressing pupil non-attendance in five stages of increasing punitive ness, beginning with daily checking and ending with possible prosecution of the parents. Absentees are placed in an appropriate monitoring group depending on the seriousness of the problem. The action taken depends on whether attendance improves or deteriorates.
The Daily Telegraph, August 14th 2006, p.1
A report by the Confederation of British Industry claims that companies are forced into recruiting from abroad because of poor literacy and numeracy amongst school leavers. The report is published at a time of record levels of top grade exam passes in UK schools. The CBI report claims that “rising pass rates mask skill shortages which are threatening the economy.” Industry leaders are most concerned about the shortage of science graduates.
(See also The Financial Times, Aug.14th 2006, p.3)