Special Educational Needs Essay

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Essay: Explain why the term ‘Special Educational Needs’ was once innovative, but now seems dated. INTRODUCTION This essay takes a long, hard look at the term Special Educational Needs (SEN) through current practices. It provides information on the past and recent, relevant legislation relating to SEN and explores the models of SEN. It will also identify issues such as segregation, integration and inclusion that are faced by people with Special Educational Needs. Special Educational Needs (SEN) has increasingly become a focus of discussions for both the developed and developing countries. According to the DfE (2011) `children with special educational needs (SENs) have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it more difficult for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age’. Before presenting arguments about this essay, it is important to clarify what we mean by segregation, integration and inclusion as regards SEN. Segregation (as proposed by the 1870 Foster Act (Education for All) means separating the individuals with disability from mainstream schools and educating them in specialists’ schools. Also, these schools are made up of people who have a particular or any number of disabilities. Integration was one of the strategies used by the Warnock report of 1978 to achieve inclusion. Integration means mixing students with special needs with their peers who do not have special needs in regular classes and educating them in the same environment to enable them to be successful. Many scholars see inclusion as not a state, but a process. In the 1980s the concept of inclusion replaced the term ‘integration’, which was used to refer to the placement of pupils with disability in mainstream schools. Thomas (1997) defined inclusion as’’ Schools that are accepting of all children’’. The principle of Inclusive education is to embrace all
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