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Local primaries all have 40-50% SEN children

(18 Posts)
3littlerabbits Thu 15-Nov-12 09:49:36

Im not English so not familiar with the school system here. Ive been looking at schools for dc1 and have seen on Ofsted reports that the local primaries all have 40-50% SEN children. I cant get my head around how all the children in the class can be supported to achieve their potential in this situation - eithr the children who have special needs or those that dont. Can anyone explain how this works to me? Thanks!

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 15-Nov-12 10:24:50

The term 'SEN' covers a wide range of issues, some are minor so very little adjustment is needed, some mean that child needs 1:1 support. Are you in an area where there are a lot of non-english speaking children? I'm pretty sure that this is also classed as SEN as the teachers need to adapt the lessons. Having a high percentage isn't a bad thing, children with SEN are wonderful as well as children without and your child will really benefit from being in the same school.

3littlerabbits Thu 15-Nov-12 10:35:21

Hi, thanks, yes, lots of non english speakers so maybe thats why. Ok, that makes sense. What I was thinking about the percentage is that if half the class have special needs then there will be drastically different levels in the class so how can the teacher possibly be expected to keep everyone engaged without whoever she isnt dealing with getting bored and disrptive, if that makes sense. Obviously all classes have some of this but such a high percentage seems impossible. If its mostly a language thing they should pick it up really quickly so it should balance out.

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 15-Nov-12 10:38:35

It depends. Sometimes the children are given extra time, or taken out of the class in groups for language lessons. It doesn't necessarily mean that other children will be left out so will become bored or disruptive (this can happen in schools with very little SEN children!). Have you been into the school to look around? It may be better for you to have a chat with the headteachers about this. smile

MagiMingeWassailsAgain Thu 15-Nov-12 10:39:37

Our school has about a quarter of pupils with SEN of some sort, and that is considered pretty high, and a lot of vulnerable children. SEN doesn't necessarily mean there will be more problems with behaviour, just that some kind of barrier to learning has been identified.

Eg could be a hearing issue, child needs to sit near the front. Or any number of things really.

3littlerabbits Thu 15-Nov-12 10:41:35

I havent been yet but have made appointments to go - just wanted to ask here first so I can understand a bit better in my head first and get the questions to ask in the school right iyswim!

3littlerabbits Thu 15-Nov-12 10:57:42

Hi, just to be clear, I dont think SEN = behaviour problems, I just am trying to understand how a teacher can manage 30 pupils where 15 have special and presumably different needs. So if she is helping a child who has a additional need ( of course is entitled to herhelp same as anyone else) she cant be helping the other 14 with their specific needs or the 15 who dont have any specific (on paper!) need, does that make sense?
What you both are saying is that SEN can be something that is looked after in a straightforward way (english lessons or a desk move) so maybe I am not understanding what SEN means. Thanks for your help.

DeWe Thu 15-Nov-12 11:14:33

For example, my dd2 was born missing her hand. She's got SEN for that. This means that occasionally she needs extra time (eg changing for games) and occasionally a helping hand. Doesn't effect her probably 90%+ of the time.

Pooka Thu 15-Nov-12 11:24:14

Ds is on the sen register.

He is colour blind. He is gifted. He has possible aspergers/NVLD.

He doesn't really drain the teachers time during lessons, but in lesson planning they will take into account the colour issue and differentiation wrt the subject he's especially good at. With regards to the aspergers/NVLD issue, it's mostly monitoring in the same way as old happen with a child that struggled eith maths for example - very mild and in general no impact on lessons.

3littlerabbits Thu 15-Nov-12 16:21:26

Thank you for your replies. Looks like its definitely my understanding of SEN that needs updating.

auntevil Thu 15-Nov-12 17:06:38

The other thing that you need to bear in mind, as others have pointed out, is that SEN doesn't mean lack of academic ability. My DS1 has dyspraxia and SPD. He mentors DC in his class for reading and maths.
This doesn't mean that you won't find behavioural issues, but they are probably only average to the area that the school is in.
Best advice is always to go and look at the school anyway - get a feel for how everyone behaves generally.
The other factor could be base schools. This is where the LEA has a separate unit for children with different additional needs such as a base for hearing impaired, communication and language, disability, visually impaired etc. The children are still counted on the register, but may not be in the class full time.
It is also worth finding out the child to adult ratio. It may also be that if there are a higher number of SEN pupils, that the ratio is lower than a school where there are less SEN.

PolterGoose Thu 15-Nov-12 17:13:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RiversideMum Fri 16-Nov-12 21:00:27

EAL is not a SEN, although it may be separately noted in an Ofsted report.

chloe74 Fri 16-Nov-12 21:03:34

There are many reasons why kids have SEN but 40-50% seems way to high for the normal explanations. I would look into the schools a lot more before i sent my DC there.

LatteLady Fri 16-Nov-12 21:21:19

Please remember that SEN also covers Gifted and Talented, it is not just about a diability.

LatteLady Fri 16-Nov-12 21:22:07

Argh... I really can spell disability

chloe74 Fri 16-Nov-12 23:52:28

yea talented? In who's dream?

simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 00:13:10

DD is also on the G&T but also has extra help with a trained OT for 3 sessions a week to help her fine motor skills and co-ordination (she is hypermobile)...

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