ATL’s Annual Conference has passed a motion stating that SEND Learners are being let down by the education system.
Motion #4 states that a “Lack of information and training in ITE fails to encourage teachers to enter the SEND sector, reducing the available workforce and leaving vital jobs unfilled. For far too many vulnerable children and their parents, securing the necessary SEND support and provision is still a desperate fight.”
The vote calls for ATL’s Executive Committee to:
(i) lobby the Government to place SEND inclusion at the heart of all education policy-making
(ii) campaign for a significant increase in funding for LAs, schools and colleges to support students with SEND
(iii) research the impact of the fragmented education landscape on the ability of local authorities to meet their statutory duties with regard to children and young people with SEND
(iv) research the career implications for teachers, support staff and leaders who commit to working in special schools, including the ability to move back into mainstream settings
(v) lobby the Government to ensure that high-quality training on SEND is available to all education professionals, to ensure SEND training is central to ITE and CPD provision, and to promote SEND careers to new and existing teachers.
The delegates also passed a motion stating that funding cuts were having a damaging effect on SEND students in mainstream schools.
This came as a joint ATL and NUT survey, carried out in March 2017, found
that spending cuts are affecting SEND provision, with 41 per cent saying their institution had cut provision – 38 per cent at primary and 44 per cent at secondary.
The survey had responses from 1,177 members working in state-funded schools in England. Fifty-one per cent from secondary schools, 38% from primaries and 5% from special and other schools.
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said: “The Government needs to sit up and listen. Schools are already struggling to make ends meet and children are already losing out. But Government underfunding means this will get much worse, since in two years’ time schools will have to make savings of more than £3 billion a year.”
Follow the proceedings from #ATLConf17 here.