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  • Writer's pictureStop Holding Back

'Education does not support people who stutter enough' - Teacher

Spending a day at a Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding cuts march in Stevenage this month, I thought I’d write my first blog for Stop Holding Back.

I have also based this on my own experiences as a Teacher in mainstream education.

I take the view that children with disabilities should be integrated as far as possible into mainstream education. However, cuts in government funding to schools in more recent times has meant a reduction in budgets for children with SEN needs. This means that additional support for children with SEN is harder to get.

The Alliance For Inclusive Education defines Inclusive Education as,

“Attitudes and methods that ensure all learners can access mainstream education. Everyone works to make sure all learners feel welcome and valued, and that they get the right support to help them develop their talents and achieve their goals. When education is truly inclusive it can actually benefit all learners, not only Disabled learners.”

What is important about this statement is that it is not just about supporting disabled learners but also to help all learners achieve their goals.

However, what we can see is that the number of children with special needs being home schooled has jumped by 57% in five years, while 1,000 children with recognised needs are waiting for a school place. The UN has confirmed what parents of disabled children already know: that Britain has a two-tier system. Not only has progress towards inclusive education “stalled”, as the UN noted, but disabled children are increasingly segregated, with the number of children with special educational needs (SEN) attending state-funded “special schools” rising.

The benefits of inclusive education are the reduction in stigma as children learn about each other and have appreciation and acceptance of differences. Teachers can also support each child or small groups based on their specific needs.

To ensure this happens we need adaptations to education. For stutterers this could include more flexibility with oral assessments/presentations, for example with more time allowed for oral assessment.

As a teacher, I feel that one way we can address this problem is by supporting and getting the best support to people who stutter as they go through the educational system. This support can prepare them in the best way for the workforce and increase their opportunities within employment.

Author: Ramesh (Trustee)

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