EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF DfE INVESTMENT IN INITIATIVES DESIGNED TO IMPROVE TEACHER WORKFORCE SKILLS IN RELATION TO SEN AND DISABILITIES
GEOFF LINDSAY1, JULIE DOCKRELL2, STEVE STRAND1, SEAMUS HEGARTY1, MORAG STEWART2, DIMITRA HARTAS3, CHRIS HASLUCK4, MARTIN DESFORGES1, MAIRI ANN CULLEN1& STEPHEN CULLEN1
1 CEDAR, 2 UNIVERSITY OF LONDON INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, 3WARWICK INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, 4INSTITUTE OF EMPLOYMENT
The government funded a number of initiatives designed to support the teacher workforce by improving knowledge, confidence and skills with respect to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This is particularly important as a means of supporting the development of inclusive education. This was a large scale and complex project which examined the impact of a number of different initiatives. The Training and Development Agency for Schools and the National Strategies were central to the initiatives which supported those in initial teacher training as well as newly qualified teachers, Special Educational Needs Coordinators and others. One initiative was the Inclusion Development Programme which was rolled out to support the development of workforce skills and the teaching and learning of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs and those with dyslexia (2008-09), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (2009-10) and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (2010-11). Support was also provided to the Michael Palin Centre to develop and disseminate a Stammering Information Programme.
Our study included surveys, focus groups, interviews and case studies. We also examined evidence of pupils' benefits as well as those of teachers and others who are direct recipients of the support. We collected data from >400 interviewees, >8000 respondents to surveys and >3600 teachers that underwent training.
The study took place between December 2008 and March 2011. We produced an interim report for the DCSF (unpublished), an Interim Report and a final report in 2011.
We are now building upon this research through the evaluation of new support materials for children and young people with ASD commisioned by the Autism Education Trust (2011-13).