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Review of Special Needs


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Maggie

I thought you may be interested in the fact that the DoE of my state has just brought down and completely accepted all the recommendations of an independent review into our SEN delivery. It is sweeping and wide-ranging and has been both welcomed and derided according to who/what you are. It will be adopted wholesale from next year. One of the innovations will be a new class of para-professionals, trained , qualified and better paid, who will be called Assistant Teachers. There are lots and lots of interesting stuff in it, all 82 pages, and I will send you the link to the document shortly.

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Anne

This was meant for you too - you may be interested in our total reform of Special Ed - all money devolved directly to clusters of 5-7 schools who can do with it whatever they want for physical, intellectual and behavioural disabilities, provided they can show some reasonable outcomes - even, as the authors note, it is just a smile from a severely disabled student. In one fell swoop, our Minister has wiped out an entire level of bureaucracy and put them back into schools. Our top bureaucracy will be reduced to 6 from 20, and 200 Support Teachers will be moved from district ofices directly into schools and be reponsible to them. In our case it will mean an extra full-time SEN teacher in every school and $2m to each cluster. It's quite scary for some, but could be highly beneficial to kids if it works. The review that was commissioned showed that in one district only 40% of money was actually getting to the SEN kids.

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