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Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, West Midlands

As we have explained in our “Understanding Ofsted’s New Framework for SEND Provision” we are beginning to head in a positive direction where SEND services are concerned. As the expectations for schools to manage SEND increases, it raises the question, what does the future of education look like? We sat down with Steve Proctor, Head of Sixth Form at Burlington House School to see what he had to say.

 

What is education like in the present day? 

 

High achieving academic students experience beneficial opportunities through education to the workplace. Whereas students with learning differences and or disabilities have less support to meaningfully thrive. Many mainstream schools continue to use a one-size-fits all system creating un-equal opportunities, triggering inclusivity issues. While many schools have inclusivity at the forefront; reduced resources, inconsistent access to training and support means that in many instances there is limited impact.  However, we’re beginning to experience technological breakthroughs, and increase awareness of SEND. The future of education appears to be brighter.

 

What can the future of education look like? 

 

 

 

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) influence education

 

Steve highlighted how AI can be positive or negative, it’s all about your perspective like with anything new. Many people fear that AI will cause students to become lazy with their approach to work, or simply the number of job cuts expected to come from AI making it harder for future adults to find jobs. However, like anything, there are positives and negatives. Let’s find out how AI can support the future of education:

 

  • AI can support students with a range of needs such as dyslexia or autism: As AI can carry out the following: text-to-speech or speech to text conversion, support students with language and grammar. It can also provide personalised learning for students, analysing their data, identifying areas in which students are struggling.
  • Intelligent Content Creation: AI can create interactive exercises for students, providing teaching methods that adapt to individual learning styles, while teaching the same content.
  • The introduction of Virtual Reality in the classroom: This is amazing for all students but especially for those with visual learning styles. These technologies will simulate real-world scenarios potentially increasing engagements and understanding.

 

AI can have a multitude of positive impacts for the future of education. While there are worries with its influences, AI can be rally supportive for SEND students supporting their individual needs.

 

With the introduction of new technologies and their ability to enhance teaching methods and students’ application, the future of education looks brighter. Schools have an opportunity to explore these options and in turn gain more time to focus on understanding their students as well as using tools to create individual methods for students.

 

Increased support for SEND students link from education to employment: 

 

The education sector up to secondary school has a positively developing systems in place to support students with SEND. However, post GCSE’s around 7% of SEND students complete their A-levels. Only less than 40% of people with autism completing university education. (Only 2.4% of UK student population are diagnosed with autism). In addition, around 95% of adults with an EHCP are unemployed due to the lack of employment opportunities/support in the workplace. Education and employment/businesses need to improve the recruitment process as it can be overwhelming, however for those with SEND it can trigger stress and anxiety. For example, an independent adult with autism, may have the capabilities to work within a “high performance” job however the recruitment process lacks inclusivity and schools are not necessary offering support to prepare SEND students for application and interview processes.

 

Providing life skill development opportunities: 

 

Academic development is a vital key to education. However as we progress it’s apparent developing a range of skillsets is vital. Introducing real-life application and development opportunities would be beneficial for all students, but especially for those with SEND. Life skills can include barista training or retail skills. This would really support SEND students as it can build their confidence to apply for such jobs.

 

Improving diagnosis for students supports future opportunities:

 

Early diagnosis of SEND is so important for children and families/caregivers. Those who are diagnosed post 16 can have more barriers to accessing support and managing their self-esteem and confidence. To support this, staff within schools need to understand the signs to look out for. As well as how they can support such students.  In addition, schools should source the necessary support they need for their send provision.

 

 

 

 

Developing Diversity and inclusivity 

 

It is also important that education leads the way for diversity and inclusivity.   One way would be to support the future of education for all genders and world majority groups with SEND.   Research and support for these groups should be developed so that they can equally receive diagnosis and access to services.

 

Looking for support with your school’s SEND Provision? Book a call with us!

 

Want you school to have outstanding SEND? Take a look at our Journey to Outstanding SEND blog post.

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