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 Special Education Needs

People & Roles -

Resource teachers are additional posts allocated to a school or group of schools to help them meet the needs of children with disabilities who have been fully integrated into mainstream schools. The role of the resource teacher is to assist the class teacher and to provide additional one to one or small group support for children with moderate learning difficulties.

When a child is assessed to be at Stage 3 of the Three Stage Model, he/she is usually given extra help from the resource teacher. In some schools this is given on a one-to-one basis where children with special needs might benefit from team- teaching or from withdrawal for individual or small group lessons. In bigger schools children may educated in a special class along with others with similar needs, taught by resource teachers. However, a recent government circular is encouraging more mixed ability teaching suggesting that research shows children of lower ability benefit from this and that other children are not disadvantaged either.

Study Points

Because of Child Protection concerns, some resource teachers have refused to teach children on a one-to-one basis.  What are your views?

Discussion Area

Schools must apply for the support of a resource teacher and the allocation will depend on the needs of particular children. The amount of help considered necessary depends on the particular disability of the child, e.g. a child who is profoundly deaf is considered to need 1/6th of a resource teacher's time while a child who has mild general learning disabilities is considered to need help for 1/11th of the teacher's time.

The resource teacher will consider ways in which the curriculum can be differentiated in the classroom, together with suitable materials and possible teaching and learning strategies. She/he will set specific, time-related targets for each child in agreement with the class teacher.

He/she will be responsible for monitoring and assessing and recording the progress of the child alongside the classroom teacher.

When an individual education plan is made for a child he/she will often be the key worker. This entails working with others to plan learning objectives and teaching strategies.

He/she will be responsible for meeting and advising the parents, often with the class teacher.

He/she will meet with other relevant professionals in relation to the child.

Further Information

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