(UK) Islington: Councillor: 'Teachers require more training pupils with special needs'

Oct 17, 2018, Islington Gazette: ‘Don’t let special needs kids be thrown on scrapheap and expelled without diagnosis’, urges councillor Kids with learning difficulties need diagnosis and support sooner “to avoid the devastation exclusion can cause”, claims a councillor. Cllr Phil Graham (Lab, Bunhill) says teachers require more training to help them spot pupils with special needs. He has also called for an investigation into the number of excluded Islington students who are later diagnosed with austism, ADHD, or similar conditions. … He told the Gazette: “In my experience schools don’t seem to be able to recognise autism – it can lead to kids going down the wrong path and dropping off the edge…. He claimed central government cuts and the scramble for schools to get good Ofsted results is exacerbating the problem. Cllr Graham says he’s working with numerous Islington youngsters who are struggling to get an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). He gave an example of a 17-year-old girl who was unable to participate in a day’s lessons because she didn’t have a support worker there. “I was in a meeting with child who was about to be permanently excluded the other day,” said Cllr Graham. Last year, 23 kids were permanently excluded from council-run schools.