According to government data released in June 2022, the number of students in mainstream schools with an EHC plan has increased to 4%. Compare this to 2.8% in 2016 and its easy to see that, post pandemic, pupils need specialist SEN support more than ever.
Generally, SEN falls into 4 types of categories and these are:
Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social, emotional and Mental health difficulties.
Within these categories you will find many different types of requirements with the most common in Secondary Schools being Autism, Epilepsy, Global Delay, ADHD, SLD, SPLD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, SEMH, Sensory & Physical Needs, Attachment needs (this one is more common since the Covid19 pandemic forced schools to close).
Mainstream Primary and Secondary Schools are far more inclusive today than ever before and this means that children with additional learning needs and special educational requirements are often educated within a ‘mainstream’ learning environment, rather than a specialist school.
Although mainstream schools may often have specialist ASD Hubs, Inclusion Units, Hearing Impairment (HI) Provisions and SEN provisions as part of their schools, the idea is that students have as much access to learn in a mainstream environment with specialist LSAs in the classrooms.
Of course, the provisions and resources within mainstream school will cater for SEN Students who may benefit from different learning environments in some subjects, or may need somewhere quieter to learn at times, and these will often include specialist equipment and rooms including sensory rooms, hoists, braille facilities, larger whiteboards, specialist HI equipment or just class sizes that allow for more of a 1-1 learning experience.
The role of a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) can vary enormously depending on the needs of the students as well as the specialist training and qualifications the LSA may have. Often, the LSA will accompany either 1 student or a small group of students during lessons and maybe even during break and lunch times. The LSA will form a close bond and be the link between the class teacher, SENCo, SLT as well as Parents, Carers and Guardians.
Specialist training may include; Understanding Autism, TeamTeach, Restraint Training, Manual Handling, Administering Medication, First Aid, Epi Pen training, BSL, CACHE Level 2 or 3, PECS, Makaton as well as qualifications relating to Health & Social Care.
For further information on the role of an LSA or any training needed please contact Active Recruitment on 0208 508 7108 or visit our on-line course where you can find hundreds of relevant CPD qualifications available.