The role of the teacher in planning and organisation
The role of the teacher in planning and organizing for pupilsâ€™ progression has changed considerably over the past twenty years. While the teacher once had much more control and decision regarding both curriculum and how that curriculum was implemented, national standards now guide both local authorities (LEAs) and individual teachers in their planning and organisation (Bage, Grosvernor and Williams 1999).
This has produced both benefits and drawbacks. Many teachers plan more thoroughly and a standardisation has occurred from school to school and class to class through the national guidelines. The National Curriculum is divided into ...view middle of the document...
Special needs students with emotional, behavioural, mental, or physical disability are now often mainstreamed for at least part of their school day. Gifted children are also often in the same classroom and also need support, but a different kind (DfES 2004). This makes planning lessons that service all pupils a complex and often difficult task. The teaching is also one that could rarely be performed effectively by only one instructor (Bage, Grosvernor and Williams 1999). Hence, all three adults must work together to ensure pupilsâ€™ progress at an appropriate rate, balancing the special needs pupilâ€™s entitlement and the needs of the broader class.
All mainstream schools are required to appoint a special needs coordinator from amongst their staff. The coordinator ensures the schoolâ€™s special education needs policy (SEN policy) is properly carried out, and acts as a liaison between pupils, parents, school staff, and any external agencies that may be involved (DfES 2005). In addition, the coordinator often acts as an advocate for special needs students, aiding in both their empowerment and success in the academic community (Parker 2000).
The special needs coordinator can be an aide to the classroom teacher in planning lessons that include all the students in that particular classroom. First, the coordinator is well versed in the schoolâ€™s SEN policy, and able to direct the classroom teacher on how to be sure each student receives his or her full entitlement. The coordinator has access to full test and assessment results for an individual student and can explain these to the teacher, who may have less background in special needs students. This is particularly important for children whose difficulties may be less visible, such as those who learn slowly or are emotionally vulnerable (DfES 2005). This enables the teacher and coordinator to work together on implementing individual education plans (IEPs), application of the LEAâ€™s behavioural support plan (BSP), and similar inclusion activities (DfES 2005).
DfES guidelines call for the special needs coordinator, classroom teacher, and head teacher to work together to service a special needs child starting primary school. This includes identifying areas where the child needs support, developing starting points based on the childâ€™s past educational experience, administering curricular and baseline assessments and providing for ongoing assessment, using the outcomes of these assessments to plan the childâ€™s learning programme, and involving the parents, if possible, to ensure proper support at home of the childâ€™s learning programme (DfES 2001).
Most importantly, the special needs coordinator can assist the teacher in planning a balanced teaching plan, allowing for both the special needs students and regular students in a particular class to have maximum learning opportunity. For example, suppose a young boy is constantly acting out and disrupting classroom activities. The special needs...