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Teachers (Training)

Volume 76: debated on Wednesday 3 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to implement the decision to include an introduction to the teaching of children with special educational needs as part of basic teacher training as outlined in Cmnd. 9649.

Criteria for the approval of initial teacher training courses issued in April 1984 include the requirement that students should be introduced to ways of identifying children with special educational needs, helped to appreciate what the ordinary school can and cannot do for such children, and given some knowledge of the specialist help available and how it can be enlisted. Over the next three to four years all initial teacher training courses will be reviewed against the criteria by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, which will advise my right hon. Friend whether existing courses should continue to be approved, and whether proposals for new ones should receive approval. Accordingly, my right hon. Friend expects that those teacher training institutions which do not already include an introduction to the subject of special educational needs in their initial training will shortly take steps to do so.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teachers have received in-service training to assist in the teaching of children with special educational needs since the Education Act 1981.

The total numbers of teachers from maintained and independent schools attending full-time courses of 20 days or more—or the part-time equivalent — concerned solely with special educational needs which have been offered in higher education institutions over the last three years are as follows:

Academic yearNumbers of teachers (rounded)
1981–821,040
1982–831,360
1983–841,530
The figure for 1983–84 includes teachers released for training under the Government's in-service teacher training grants scheme which was introduced in April 1983. Grant has been paid in respect of some 370 teachers released to attend one-term courses concerned with special educational needs in ordinary schools during the period April 1983 to August 1984. These courses remain eligible for the purposes of the scheme in the current academic year 1984–85, and it is intended that they should continue to be so designated in 1985–86.The Department does not collect statistics on attendance by teachers on in-service training courses of less than 20 days—or the part-time equivalent—or on any training mounted by bodies other than higher education institutions, including that offered by individual local education authorities through their advisory services and teachers' centres.