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Special Educational Needs

Question for Department for Education

UIN 217925, tabled on 9 December 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 October 2014 to Question 211317, what training is included in a special educational needs-related course or activity.

Answered on

16 December 2014

In Round Two of the National Scholarship Fund, there were 210 unsuccessful special educational needs (SEN) support staff applicants out of 493 applications.

In Round Three of the National Scholarship Fund, there were 23 unsuccessful SEN support staff applicants out of 225 applications.

In Round Four of the National Scholarship Fund, there were 102 unsuccessful SEN support staff applicants out of 188 applications. In addition, there was 21 unsuccessful support staff in Round Four who were members of unsuccessful collaborative groups out of a total of 27 members of collaborative SEN Support Staff groups.

The training included in a special educational needs-related course or activity which has been funded through the National Scholarship Fund is dependent on the course or activity chosen by the scholar.

In the National Scholarship Fund for teachers’ handbook for Round Four, the following criteria are given for eligible activities:

Responsibility lies with the Teacher/s to choose the courses or activities that are most suited to their needs; they are responsible for choosing a provider and enrolling with their chosen provider (once notified that their application has been successful).

In the case of a lead school on behalf of a collaborative group, every course or activity must be stated.

The only restrictions are that the activity should be related to improving specialist knowledge in the designated priority area of SEND, and that the programme of study will be intellectually rigorous and challenging. In many cases this will be demonstrated by the fact that the activity is at Master’s level or beyond. Some courses and seminars which do not lead to Master’s level credits are also eligible if the applicant provides a robust argument that they provide sufficient intellectual challenge.

In the National Scholarship Fund for SEN support staff handbook for Round Three, the following criteria were given for eligible activities:

Support staffs working with children with SEN or a disability are free to choose the course or activity that is most suited to their needs. Similarly, they are free to choose a provider. There are some restrictions, however:

1) The activity should deepen your knowledge of SEN/D and enhance your ability to provide effective support to the teaching and learning of pupils with SEN/D.

2) The programme of study must be at Level 4 or above.

3) An approved non-accredited specialist training course