Part of my role as the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) governor, for Whitchurch C of E Primary School, is to ensure that children with special educational needs are fully catered for. I recently had a meeting with Miss Gosling, our school’s SENCO lead. It was most worthwhile and I felt that she is very aware and working hard for all children. Inevitably this involves leading teachers and Learning Support Assistants towards new ideas and ways of helping those individual struggling children.
Something that intrigued me is the way LSA’s are now helping in class. Gone are the days of continually sitting next to a struggling child and doing the work for/with them. Research has shown that this is counterproductive as it can rob the child of resilience and self confidence because they become dependent on the adult for help. Instead individual intensive programmes are now being developed. These target the particular problem and are specific to the child. Each programme lasts from 12 to 20 weeks, when the child is expected to have ‘caught up’ with the class. After this the child is encouraged to work with the class. The child will continue to be tracked to make sure they are managing.
I have witnessed the wonderful way our LSA’s work with individual children, moving them forward so that they can be an integrated part of their particular class.