There is a significant gap in educational achievement between pupils identified as SEN and pupils with no SEN and when more than 20% of the school population are identified as having SEN, this obviously affects all schools and all teachers.
Pupils identified as having a special educational needs do face barriers to their learning, but with proper support there is no reason for them to underachieve. So what can you or the whole school do to address the learning barriers for their underachieving pupils?
Only available as an eBook
What is an eBook? An eBook is electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device. This eBook is in PDF format and can be shared with your colleagues.
This eBook is a section from the Understanding and Tackling Underachievement in Primary Schools which is currently on sale and available in both print and eBook.
SEN and Underachievement in Primary School: Exploring the differences examines what is meant by underachievement by pupils with SEN and suggests approaches you could take to try to address it. It will enable you to:
challenge assumptions about the achievement of pupils with SEN
use data to identify which pupils are underachieving and which are achieving at or beyond expectations in spite of their SEN
understand attainment and progress tracking for pupils with SEN
use pupil voice to understand more clearly where learning barriers lie
create an action plan to address underachievement at a whole-school level
equip teachers to engage in action research and reflective practice.
Summary of contents
SEN and Underachievement in Primary School: Exploring the differences is a practical resource which will show you how to:
use data and context to identify pupils with SEN who are underachieving in your school
consider the underachievement and possible causes in detail – gender, ethnic group, home circumstances, summer born, economic/social disadvantage
analyse whether underachievement is actual or relative and how consistently it occurs
look at possible school-based reasons for underachievement and what you could do about them
action plan to address underachievement at a whole-school and individual level
support teachers to reflect on their practice and engage in action research.
This resource includes:
action planning templates.
Section 1: SEN and underachievement: identifying issues and removing barriers to learning
More than 20% of pupils in school are currently identified as having a special educational need: a significant proportion of the pupil population. Teaching children with SEN and ensuring the barriers to their learning are addressed is therefore the responsibility of all teachers. This section helps to identify and suggest ways to positively address issues causing underachievement for pupils with SEN.
Look in detail at underachievement of pupils with SEN in your school and understand the reasons for it in each case
Create action plans to address underachievement at a whole-school and individual level.
Section 2: Addressing underachievement in the whole-school context: moving forward
To bring about change across a school, it is important for staff to work together and to address the issue at a whole-school level. For lasting and meaningful change to occur, staff need to understand the central importance of culture, values and expectations and be prepared to question these in your school. Here we look at how you can establish collaborative problem-solving through action research, reflective practice and communities of enquiry.
Understand the importance of a whole-school approach to change
Develop individual action research projects looking into the underachievement of pupils with SEN
Establish communities of enquiry across the school
See the central role played by engaging pupil voice and understand how to go about doing this.