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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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2.2 Working in a special school

In Video 3 you listened to people discussing their experience of being a student at a special school. But what is it like to work in a special school? What are the benefits and what are the challenges?

Activity 5 The benefits of special schools

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Listen to Clare Savory, Head of Science at Parkside School in Norwich, talking about why she thinks there is still a need for special schools. As you listen, make a note of some of the positive aspects of teaching in a special school that Clare reports.

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Discussion

Some of the positives you might have noted from Clare’s account were:

  • the children often arrive at Parkside after difficult experiences in a mainstream school. The special school offers opportunities for students to be less segregated in Clare’s view.

  • the school can nurture students’ skills and interests.

  • the school can also provide support and education that is more tailored to the individual. This can help students’ confidence to grow.

Despite calls for a fully inclusive education system, Clare has shown that there can be significant benefits for some students who attend a special school. However, in the next section you will explore some of the benefits and challenges of delivering inclusive education.