We know that teaching quality is the most important in-school factor for improving the outcomes for all pupils, particularly for those with additional needs, including those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
All new teachers receive at least three years of evidence-based professional development and support, starting with Initial Teacher Training (ITT) based on the new ITT Core Content Framework (CCF), and followed by a new two-year induction underpinned by the Early Career Framework (ECF). The CCF sets out a minimum entitlement of knowledge, skills and experiences that trainees need so they enter the profession in the best possible position to teach and support all pupils to succeed. This includes those pupils identified within the four areas of need set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) code of practice.
ITT courses must be designed so that trainee teachers can demonstrate that they meet the Teachers’ Standards at the appropriate level. This includes the requirement in Standard 5, that teachers must have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs. Details of the Teacher’s Standards are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teachers-standards.
The department’s vision is that ITT based on the CCF will be the foundation on which early career teacher training and support is built. The ECF underpins what all early career teachers should learn, and learn how to do, based on expert guidance and the best available research evidence. It was designed in consultation with the education sector, including special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) specialists, and covers five core areas: behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and professional behaviours. It is designed to work for all early career teachers regardless of subject, phase or school.
Alongside this, through our contract with the National Association for Special Educational Needs (nasen), the department has funded the Whole School SEND Consortium to equip the workforce to deliver high-quality teaching for all children and young people with SEND. This includes providing training and resources for teaching and support staff. The funding in the 2021-22 financial year will bring the total funding for this contract to over £8 million since 2018. All the materials funded by the department are hosted on the nasen SEND Gateway, an online portal offering education professionals free, easy access to high-quality information, resources and training for meeting the needs of children with SEND. This is available here: http://www.sendgateway.org.uk/.
We have funded the creation of a suite of condition specific videos to provide helpful pointers, techniques and advice on inclusive teaching strategies for early career teachers, these videos cover ADHD. These are available here: https://www.sendgateway.org.uk/resources?title=condition-specific.
High-quality professional development is important for teachers at all stages of their careers, to ensure they receive appropriate support and to enable them to consistently improve their practices. Decisions relating to teachers’ professional development rest with schools, headteachers, and teachers themselves, as they are in the best position to judge their own requirements, which may include further training and development relating to pupils and young people with SEND or ADHD.