Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd December 2017.

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Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of initial teacher training at (a) primary and (b) secondary level is related to children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Education)

The government does not prescribe the content of initial teacher training (ITT) courses. It is for individual ITT providers to use their professional judgement to determine the content, structure, and proportion of courses that relate to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

However, courses must be designed so that teacher trainees can demonstrate that they meet all of the Teachers' Standards at the appropriate level. The Standards set out the key elements of effective teaching and the minimum expectations for the professional practice and conduct of teachers. In order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status, trainees must satisfy the Teachers’ Standards which include a requirement that they have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with SEND and are able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them. ‘A Framework of core content for Initial Teacher Training’, published in July 2016, states “providers should ensure SEND training is integrated across the ITT programme.” The Framework can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-government-response-to-carter-review and the Teachers’ Standards can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/teachers-standards.

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