14 SES 05 A, Schooling of Ordinary and Vulnerable Youth. Transitions between Levels of Schooling and Transitions to Adulthood (Part 1)
Across Europe, attention continues to be focused on the benefits to individuals, families and society of enabling children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to access education and to be supported to achieve to the best of their ability (e.g. UNESCO, 2009; European Disability Forum, 2010; Council of Europe, 2010). In England, widespread concern about teachers’ lack of the knowledge, skills and confidence to teach pupils with high incidence SEND led to a series of government funded initiatives, including the Inclusion Development Programme (IDP). This was a national-scale, voluntary programme of professional development for teachers, promoted over three academic years (2008-2011). A key aim was to raise the confidence of parents of pupils with SEND that their children’s schools could and would meet their needs.
The IDP was evaluated over 2008-2011 as part of a wider, government-funded study. The research questions relevant to this paper were: to explore the views of school staff (through interviews and questionnaires) and parents of children with SEND (interviews only) about parental confidence in the school system; and to find out what influenced parental confidence in the school; and how far if at all, the IDP impacted on this. Because we wanted to find out what parents valued about what school staff did, we asked schools to select parents that the school special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) believed were pleased with how their child’s SEND were dealt with in the school. We assumed that these parents would, nevertheless, also have critical views about aspects of what the school did. We also assumed that it was unlikely that parents would know about the IDP-related staff development work being done in the school. Our interview schedule was constructed to allow for this.
Council of Europe (2010) Draft Resolution of the Council of the European Union and the Representatives of the Governments of the member states, meeting within the Council, on a new European Disability Framework. Brussels, 2 June 2010. 10173/10; SOC375; COHOM 134. http:// www.register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/10/st10/st10173.en10.pdf , accessed 20.1.11 European Disability Forum (2010) Disability Pact Declaration. http://www.edf-feph.org/Page_Generale.asp?DocID=24287, accessed 20.1.11 Lindsay, G., Cullen, M.A., Cullen, S., Dockrell, J, Goodlad, S., Arweck, E. (2010) Evaluation of the impact of the DFE investment in initiatives designed to improve teacher workforce skills in relation to SEN and disabilities - 1st interim report. Research Report DFE-RR058. London: DFE. http://www.education.gov.uk/search/results?q=DFE-RR058, accessed 20.1.11 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (2009) Policy Guidelines on Inclusion in Education. Paris: UNESCO.
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