Special Education Needs

The BBC devoted airtime each weekday to special education needs of children and young people. Special education needs, or SEN, is a very broad topic encompassing everything from learning English as a second language to various forms of dyslexia to addressing the educational needs of severely mentally or physically challenged individuals.

The daily aired programs didn’t focus on the forms of SEN, but focussed on the often huge challenges facing parents and carers to ensure those with SEN have a learning environment tailored to their specific needs. For some parents and carers, even obtaining an acknowledgement that their son or daughter has SEN has been a very big challenge. It’s currently estimated that nearly 40% of all children entering reception year will have SEN at some point in their academic lives.

It often comes down to the availability of funding. Even after a person has been identified with specific SEN, and an appropriate educational plan is known, often there simply isn’t enough funding, either in school budgets or from local councils, to deliver specific tuition in a timely manner. The BBC programs are a testament to the determination of parents and carers to ensure their loved one receives an education. The programs also focus on the children and young people who thrive when their educational needs are met. Funding for SEN must be a priority.