Going on a Special School ITT Placement by @simonknight100

Starter for Five

Name: Simon Knight
Twitter: @simonknight100
Sector:  Special School
Subject: All subjects
Position: Deputy Headteacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Going on a special school ITT placement

  1. Try and visit your class in advance of the start of the placement. Address any concerns with your class teacher or tutor before you start.
  2. Read the behaviour policy and make sure you stick to it, seeking guidance from the classroom staff where necessary.
  3. Don’t make presumptions about the pupils, particularly regarding diagnostic labels. They are all individuals and should be treated as such.
  4. Don’t expect to be as competent in Special as you are in Mainstream straight away. This can be frustrating but is completely normal. You will pick it up quickly.
  5. It can seem very different at times, so if you are concerned about something, don’t go home without talking it though. We were all new to it once.

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Be a Man

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

Not so long ago I asked Sam what he wanted to be when he grew up.  It was part of the process for converting his Statement of Special Educational Need to an Education Health Care Plan.  It’s a question I have asked children many time before, often with hilarious results, but, seeing as the previous question had been ‘where would you like to go when you finish at school?’ and I had been met with a blank look, as if the very idea of there being a life beyond the school years, that they might one day finish, was beyond comprehension, I didn’t have much hope of a sensible answer.  It was part of the form though, so I steeled myself and prepared to write down everything he said.

And, as is so often the case with my eldest child, he surprised me.  Rather than reeling off a load of…

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Ofsted Speaks

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

Well! There I was, checking my email before I set off for home, and what should I find but a reply from the Man From Ofsted.  Here it is. (Just this once I am breaking a rule and putting someone else’s words in a post, but bearing in mind that this is an important issue to me, I thought I may as well.  Normal service will resume shortly.)  There is a link at the end to the consultation, but please feel free to use the comments below.

Dear Nancy

Thank you for your letter. You raise many important points.

Firstly let me explain that the inspectors who will carry out these inspections will have a depth of expertise in disability and special educational needs.  The team will include a HMI who is a specialist in disability and special educational needs and has received additional training in this area of inspection…

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Debating and the ‘experts’ 


A brand new Twitter account has emerged this weekend called @CriticalThinkEd. The account has been instigated by @greg_ashman and is aimed at encouraging critical thinking. There will be questions and links to posts and comments I can tell I’m going to be a huge fan of this account as it promises to deal with debates that are simmering away. There appears to be no hard and fast rules concerning who can and who can’t join in which is helpful as this means (hopefully) the little person won’t be shouted down.

On Monday evening @FarrowMr tweeted ‘I am sick of seeing blogs on reading by secondary teachers. Teach someone (not family) to read from scratch, then write about it and I’ll read.’

I applauded Richard for his stand and suggested he blog for @CriticalThinkEd. Richard declined as thinks he’s written and argued enough around the subject of teaching reading. Myself and…

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An open letter to Mr Harford

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

Dear Mr Harford,

I saw the link for a consultation on inspection for provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) today while I was eating my sandwiches.  I will be responding to the consultation later, but, while it is on my mind, I wanted to put some thoughts down on paper (as it were), in case the questions in the consultation don’t quite address my concerns and my train of thought is derailed.

If you don’t mind, I’ll get straight to the point.

  • The conflation of education with care

It may seem like a small thing to many people, and there is no doubt that some students with disabilities do need an element of care, but I cannot stress how important it is that, in educational establishments at the very least, care does not form a much of a part in assessment of services or in the…

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