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*(UK) Scotland: Teachers 'beyond the breaking point' trying to deal with behavioral issues

Feb 3, 2018, (UK) Scotsman: Insight: Scottish classrooms are in chaos https://www.scotsman.com/news/education/insight-scottish-classrooms-are-in-chaos-1-4682042 ‘Inclusiveness” is one of those open-ended political catchwords, sprinkled through annual reports and policies like confetti. Although it sounds rather abstract, nebulous even, it is promoted as something we should all be aiming for in order to create a more humane and caring society for those who might otherwise end up isolated and marginalised, losing out on vital life chances. It also has the advantage of never having to be pinned down and financially costed. Now a growing number of Scotland’s teachers are speaking out, claiming that such “political correctness” is being used as a stick to beat them. As austerity bites, one of the areas the teaching profession is becoming increasingly concerned about is the integration of youngsters with additional support needs (ASN) into mainstream classrooms in primary and secondary schools, and the knock-on problems created. These are pupils with a range of difficulties ranging from dyslexia, autism, ADHD and disability to those with behavioural and emotional problems and challenging family circumstances. Worried teachers say they are “beyond breaking point” trying to cope with the often complex and challenging requirements of such pupils which can impact adversely on the education of the rest of the class. The number of pupils in Scotland identified as having ASN has rocketed to its highest ever level, while the number of specialist support teachers has dropped. Scottish Government statistics released in December 2017 show 183,491 pupils were identified as having ASN – 26.6 per cent of the school population. This is also an increase of over 55 per cent since 2012. But the latest figures for additional support for learning teachers has fallen from 3,384 to 2,990 – 12 per cent – between 2012 and 2016. … Alison*, who has 15 years’ experience as a city centre primary teacher, says she would like to see Education Secretary John Swinney spend a week as a pupil support assistant in a school. Here’s her testimony: “In the last two weeks I have been sworn at, called a “f***ing hoor”, kicked at and threatened with scissors. …