Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Educashun - Special Needs

I see that the schools' inspectors from Ofsted have issued a report that has set the veritable cat amongst the pigeons.

Ofsted claims that there has been widespread over-diagnosis of children with special educational needs, it alleges that up to 700,000 pupils have been wrongly placed in this category (50% of that category).

For why?

Ofsted allege that this is being used a cover for poor teaching, ie lower expectations and you don't need to explain failure.

Plus, as an added bonus, some schools are able to exploit this by gaining extra grants from Nanny.

Suffice to say the teaching unions are none too pleased with this.

Doubtless the media will now bring forth "case studies" from both ends of the spectrum, showing some pupils who really are in need (who have not been classified as being in need) and those who have been classified as in need as being not in need.

My humble contribution to the "chatter" is this, my partner Eva some years ago was a supply teacher in the UK. She said that whenever an Ofsted inspection was due, schools would ensure that the timetable, teaching staff, pupils etc were "managed" in such a way as to ensure that whatever impression the school wished to give Ofsted was in fact given. Those of you who recall reading the "Just William" books will recall one episode where the intelligent looking pupils at William's school were placed at the front of the class, and William at the back, in anticipation of a visit by a "great man".

Oftsed have most likely been conned at many of the schools they have visited, as to whether this invalidates the conclusion of their report (or indeed enhances it) I could not possibly say.

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  1. Tonk.1:43 PM

    I suspect that poor teaching may play a part but, many of these so called "special needs" relate to behavourial and discipline problems and that, is often down to useless parenting.

    It always struck me that dispite Labour's equality agenda, they always strived to put labels on people which must have been completely against equality unless, she meant her special groups were more equal than the rest of us, in the old USSR sense.

  2. Anonymous7:25 PM

    Quite a few "pushy parents" try to get their offspring onto at least the "School Action" level of statements as they are then automatically granted an additional 25% additional time in examinations. I and other colleagues have become concerned at the increase in pupils ostensibly having Special Needs as the additional time and resources required divert attention from other pupils. There are many more statements of need for "behavioural issues" (code for cannot/will not behave)than there were. Most of their needs could be met with the politically incorrect "clip round the ear" although I also hold the opinion that some of the ferals that pass as parents could use the same!

  3. Anonymous9:44 PM

    I remember as a student when inspectors were coming to visit, some of the most mature and sensible-looking students were enrolled as plants. I overheard a conversation: “Okay Joe, they'll be coming up this corridor and then probably turning towards the library, so if you could be walking past here at lunchtime. If they stop you, all you have to say is ...”.

    Presumably inspectors know these things happen. If they're going to stop students at random and ask for opinions, it's best to avoid the most mature ones. They're probably the plants.

  4. microdave11:47 AM

    Then Ofsted are either complicit or stupid. Why don't they turn up without warning?

    There is another aspect - funding. It seems to mirror the way doctors are finding lots of older people (like my father) suddenly have type 2 diabetes. As I understand it they get extra money from the health service for each new case...

  5. Lord of Atlantis2:41 PM

    Whilst poor teaching is no doubt part of the problem,it is unfair to blame teachers alone. Bad parenting is, as you suggest, Tonk and Anonymous, very much to blame too. Consequently, 'special needs' is a catch-all which not only covers genuine special needs pupils, but also those who have no intention of behaving. In today's politically correct world, yobs are seen as victims. The situation has been made considerably worse by the dictat by the E.E.C forbidding the use of the cane or any other form of meaningful discipline. Consequently, teachers who have such pupils in their classes, even if there are only one or two of them, are hamstrung!

  6. The only "special need"that children have these days is a good kick up the arse.Everyone is a victim,it is always some-one elses fault,blah blah blah,when in reality they just can not be bothered,and are never taught about how important cooperation with ones fellows is,how did the commie "teachers"miss that one?oh horror,that might lead to nationalism!

  7. In 1988, the Tory Government were worried. 100% of people were not at university, winning Mastermind or other academic quiz shows, there was something wrong. The fact that some people may be unacademic but could build great houses or repair clapped out automobiles was irrelevant.
    They invented the National Curriculum. Schools already had a well balanced curriculum, and there were local and national inspectors to check them out, but this wasn't good enough.
    Another cunning plan was to invent ofsted.
    The result of all this is money running out and making teachers' ill.