Schools: Disability

Department for Education written question – answered at on 21 July 2021.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide training for school staff on work-based assistive technology; and what assessment they have made of how such technology can support disabled students.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department funded training in assistive technology in financial year 2020-21 via the EdTech Demonstrator Programme. National Star College launched a special education need and disabilities (SEND) Hub, which included training on ways assistive technology could be used by teachers, leaders and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) to support all pupils. Materials from these training sessions to support teachers and ensure their practice is inclusive to all learners, can still be accessed through the SEND Hub website and the EdTech Demonstrator website.

The success of this programme is informing our next steps in relation to supporting teachers, leaders and SENCos with assistive technology, including a proposed pilot training programme for school staff for financial year 2021-22.

The department published a rapid literature review on assistive technology in education in July 2020, which found strong evidence of the positive impact of specific types of assistive technology (for example to improve communication) and recommended training for teachers and other staff on the use, assessment and evaluation of assistive technology.

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