Best Practice

What if we focused on the strengths of our SEN students?

In part two of his series focusing on the state of our SEN system, Daniel Sobel asks what would happen if we shifted our mindset and attitude – from thinking of the barriers of SEN to considering the strengths and skills that SEN can give students

In my recent article on “the state of SEN” (Sobel, 2021), I laid out how many of the big ticket issues were well captured in the recent 2019 Education Select Committee report into SEND.

The report highlighted a number of significant failures, all of which are common knowledge for most of us working in schools (see also Headteacher Update, 2019). In this article, I would like to suggest an idea that could radically shift the way we “do” SEN and hopefully budge us out of the quagmire in which we find ourselves.

An educational placebo

It took me three times to pass my GCSE maths. I had undiagnosed ADHD and I had become used to thinking of myself as incapable. Despite not passing A levels or getting a degree, I managed to wangle my way on to a Master’s in education psychology and subsequently managed to undertake post-grads in education and psychology and even a PhD.

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