Working with very able pupils presents a challenge to any teacher, but when learners also have special educational needs, there are complex issues to address. Julian Whybra shares his experiences of children and young people with Asperger syndrome

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Sal McKeown looks at some of the implications of the renewed primary Framework for those working with children with special educational needs read more

A report into the range of teaching approaches used for dyslexic children in Scotland and their effectiveness recommends early intervention and a tailored approach, with an emphasis on the power of appropriate teaching techniques to help children to become normal learners

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What is literacy for children who do not learn to read and write? Drawing on a recent study, Dr Lyn Layton calls for a radical reinterpretation of what is meant by literacy, arguing that we should prepare all teachers to recognise a broad interpretation of literacy that is in line with the diverse needs and activities of learners

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Sarah Whitehead describes a project that she undertook as part of a postgraduate professional development course for SENCOs. She highlights the value of having time for systematic professional reflection, and how this can be used to good effect when introducing ‘Catch Up’, an intervention designed to support reading development read more

Headteacher Neil Berry explains how Brampton Manor in East London – described by Ofsted in December 1999 as having ‘serious weaknesses’ – was turned into the fully inclusive, successful school it is today

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These classroom activities can help develop grammar skills, particularly syntax and morphology

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Pragmatics refers to the ability to communicate in social situations. These classroom activities will help all children to develop social communication skills

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Gross motor skills are the movements of the large muscles of the body. These activities will help to develop and improve gross motor skills

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A research study on tackling low achievement suggests that children with special educational needs form a large percentage of low achievers but more could be done to assist them through their schooling read more

A six-phase programme for teaching phonics aims to help children become fluent readers by the age of seven read more

Michael Farrell looks at a number of different areas in which special provision is needed read more

Legal Surgery answers a question about exclusion of a violent pupil who has SEN read more

Wireless technology is useful, but raises health concerns. Vicky Lapins looks at schools’ obligations for safer use read more

Two recent policy reviews have established the government’s priorities for spending on public services that help disabled and disadvantaged pupils

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A new report considers why some children who did well at key stage 1 do not maintain the same rate of progress at key stage 2

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Linda Evans looks at how SENCOs can deliver training sessions to help TAs explore different ways of supporting pupils and teachers in and out of the classroom

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Special education consultant Michael Farrell considers provision for pupils with orthopaedic impairments and motor disorders read more

Many SENCOS work with looked after children. The results of a consultation on proposals to help children in care suggest ways of improving support for these children

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All primary schools must have a disability equality scheme in place by December 2007. Margaret Collins offers some practical suggestions to help you meet the challenge

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The curriculum review section of most direct interest to SENCOs concerns organising the curriculum. SENCO Update reports read more

Question: How must a local authority assess the special educational needs of a child in its area? What is the extent of the duty? read more

New research evaluates how effectively Sure Start programmes help children with special needs and disabilities read more

Inclusion of SEN students requires lots of involvement from teaching assistants. Enid Alston introduces a new training course designed to help read more

Vision into Practice – Ensuring Every Child Matters is a self-evaluation tool for inclusive learning. Trish Lowson, school link officer for Inclusive Learning at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, explains read more

A useful update on the current law regarding discrimination is provided by Patti Turner

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Philip Jones presents a case study and discusses the difficulties faced by schools when providing intimate care to pupils who have disabilities

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Linda Evans suggests how SENCOs can plan and deliver training on subjects which feature prominently in the role of most teaching assistants (TAs) read more

The 2020 Vision report calls for personalised learning to be designed to reduce the ‘persistent and unacceptable gaps in average attainment between different groups of pupils’. read more

Many SENCOs in primary schools also have a designated responsibility for G&T children. New guidance should ensure that effective provision for this group of children is in place. It may also help clarify whether or not SENCOs can be expected to take primary responsibility for this task read more

Schools will have to be more aware of these particularly vulnerable children when they review policy and practice, writes Ingrid Sutherland read more

Trish Lowson, school link officer for inclusive learning at Calderdale metropolitan borough council, introduces Vision into Practice – Ensuring Every Child Matters, a self-evaluation tool for inclusive learning. read more

Gill O’Donnell argues that schools need to take a proactive approach to fire alarms if they are not to fall foul of the new disability discrimination legislation

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Drawing on his personal and professional experiences, Mark Prever highlights how important it is for schools to actively seek ways to enhance the emotional wellbeing of their pupils. He also makes the case for pupils to have an entitlement to counselling

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SENCOs who may be involved with pupils facing the possibility of exclusion should be aware that the latest guidance on procedure is now available online. With some changes in official advice this makes it an appropriate time for SENCOs to consider school policies in relation to arrangements for pupils with special educational needs and pupils with disabilities. read more

ICT can enhance opportunities for inclusive learning. However, getting the right ICT tools in place to support this process can be a daunting prospect. In this article Gerald Haigh, in conversation with SENCOs, shows what is possible and argues that simple innovations tailored to individual needs often work best. read more

SENCOs have an important role to play in providing continuing professional development for their colleagues in schools. A recent Ofsted survey lists recommendations for improving practice. read more

A new report confirms that joined-up working has been a positive and significant experience for the majority of those involved. read more

The House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee undertook a major review of special education in 2005-2006 and published a report that asked the government to clarify its policy on inclusive education. This article summarises the questions that the Select Committee asked, outlines the government response to these, and provides a brief analysis of this response. read more

QUESTION: What considerations should we apply when considering permanent exclusion of a pupil with special educational needs? read more

This article discusses ways in which SENCOs can support children with dyslexia within mainstream education, and provides a list of warning signs that might initially lead to referral, by training principals from Dyslexia Action, Rosemary Norburn and Glenys Heap

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Every Disabled Child Matters is a three-year campaign by organisations working with disabled children and their families. Its objectives and proposed actions for change are summarised below

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The Early Support programme seeks to improve the quality, consistency and coordination of services for young disabled children and their families. A new report examines its effectiveness. read more

The new and rapidly changing context of the Every Child Matters agenda presents challenges and opportunities for the role of the educational psychologist. This forms the backdrop against which a review of the functions and contribution of educational psychologists has been conducted. read more

Dr Tracy Packiam Alloway of the University of Durham has researched the difficulties faced by children who have a low working memory

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Jenni Whitehead looks at signs that show a young person may be at risk of abuse. read more

Developmental verbal apraxia is the inability to coordinate the lip, tongue and throat muscles in order to form sounds into words

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Children with asthma have airways that narrow and can become clogged with mucus as a reaction to various triggers. This article provides a list of symptoms experienced by those with asthma and also strategies to help

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Dyspraxia is a specific learning difficulty. Children with dyspraxia have problems with motor coordination and often appear clumsy when moving around the classroom

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Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects the ability to read and spell. About 60 per cent of children with dyslexia also have trouble with the sounds that make up words

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