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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
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T: 9841 444

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

On schools, education and students with disabilities

School principal loses her job over student cage inquiry
Emma Macdonald, The Canberra Times, 8th September 2015
The principal of the school where a cage was erected for a 10-year-old autistic student has lost her job after an inquiry found she was the sole instigator of the decision ...

Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants
Education Endowment Fund (UK), March 2015
In March 2015 the EEF published a Guidance Report for teachers and school leaders entitled Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants. Previous research had shown that in many English schools teaching assistants are not being used in ways that improve pupil outcomes. However, recent research demonstrates that when they are well trained and used in structured settings with high-quality support and training, teaching assistants can make a noticeable positive impact on pupil learning.

The report makes seven evidence-based recommendations to help schools maximise the impact of teaching assistants, including:
  • Use TAs to add value to what teachers do, not to replace them
  • Ensure TAs are fully prepared for their role in the classroom
  • Use TAs to deliver high-quality one-to-one and small group support using structured interventions ...

Free program gives children with disabilities a better chance of success at school
Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald, 17th August 2015
... The program, Stepping Stones Triple P, is being implemented in Queensland, NSW and Victoria with the aim of helping teachers and parents manage challenging behaviour associated with developmental disabilities such as autism, Asperger's syndrome and Down syndrome.

Aimed at children aged two to 12, the early intervention program is part of a research project funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

One hundred professionals, including mainstream and special education teachers and school counsellors, have been trained to deliver the two-year program across the state.

Stewart Einfeld, Professor of the Centre for Disability Research and Policy, and senior scientist with the Brain and Mind Centre at Sydney University, is heading the project in NSW, where 80,000 children have a disability.

"We know from our previous research that even for families with children with severe behavioural and emotional problems, only 10 per cent of them got access to expert help," he said ...

What I Want Future Teachers to Know About Students with Disabilities
Emily Ladau , Words I Wheel By, 25th August 2015
... “Special, “exceptional,” and other sugar-coated words like this are rampant in professional, legal, and academic spheres. It’s euphemistic, a way to avoid mention of disability, because disability is far too often perceived as a dirty word.

From my perspective, every child has unique needs in the classroom. And yet, students with disabilities are still differentiated and given labels for requiring certain adaptations or accommodations. The “special” students have extended time to take tests. The “exceptional” students must take adapted physical education. But doesn’t each student have different learning styles and different ways of getting things done? ...

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