A couple of weeks ago, I watched Last Chance Academy, a Panorama documentary about an academy which has set up its own alternative programme for students who are regularly in trouble. The academy not only refuses to exclude students but also aims to get them at least five GCSEs.
What struck me was the prominence of reading problems amongst these students. In particular, Chelsea exhibited very stressed behaviours in her exams: it turned out she couldn’t read the paper, but the school hadn’t known. How could such a thing happen? The head’s comment said it all: “She was so good at masking her problem that it never occurred to me that she couldn’t read.”
A tweet from @MrDavies_Leap suggested that she had missed the screening tests, and this highlights the importance of screening all students. It is important to bear in mind that the students who are often away are…
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