Guernsey special needs education 'good but inconsistent'

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image captionThe report said provision for children with special educational needs was "not consistent"

There is "substantial" support for special educational needs in Guernsey, but the provision is not consistent everywhere, a report has found.

The report by the National Association for Special Educational Needs (Nasen) said the experiences of students and families can "vary significantly".

It added there was an "over-reliance on the good-will of key individuals".

However, one of the report's authors said there was "some excellent, inclusive" practice in Guernsey.

The review was commissioned by the States of Guernsey's Committee for Education, Sport and Culture (ESC) in early 2020 and also examined provision in Alderney.

'Extended to all'

The report identified there was "substantial effective practice" to support special educational needs and disability education (SEND) learners and praised a number of areas, including quality of educational psychology services, specialist schools and early identification of children with specialist needs.

But it said provision was "not consistent everywhere" which meant the "experience of learners and their families can vary significantly".

The report said: "There are several contributing factors to the inconsistency, including a lack of systematic and strategic collaboration between services and an over-reliance on the good-will of key individuals."

There were 18 short and medium term recommendations to improve provision, ideally to be implemented within one to three years.

These included every school having a dedicated SEND co-ordinator with no teaching responsibilities and expanding the age-range for access from birth to 25 years old, instead of the current provision for those aged five to 18.

President of ESC Andrea Dudley Owen said it was "clear there is a huge amount of good work already being done" in Guernsey and acknowledged the States must "do more".

She said: "In particular, to make sure that where there is quality provision it is delivered consistently and becomes the norm across all of our settings."

Nasen chief executive Prof Adam Boddison said: "It is quite clear that there is already some excellent, inclusive practice in place and we hope our recommendations help to ensure this can now be extended to all learners, all of the time."

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