Contact a Family comments on planned changes to school curriculum in England

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Jill Davies, National SEN advisor at Contact a Family said: “The National Curriculum should support progress and high expectations for all pupils. The attainment gap between pupils with SEN or a disability and those without is already unacceptably large. Ofsted identifies low expectations as a significant factor holding back the progress of pupils with SEN and disabilities. The structure, content of and progression within the National Curriculum should be designed to support the learning of children and young people who are working below age-related expectations, as much as those working at or above age-related expectations.

“Contact a Family are keen that the planned curriculum reform announced by education secretary Michael Gove provide the best possible opportunity for all learners to achieve. Approaches which rely on memory and rote learning have not generally been found to be effective for children with complex disabilities and SENand yet these skills appear to be at the heart of curriculum reforms. We believe that current plans show insufficient recognition of what meaningful achievement looks like for children with SEN and disabilities. The National Curriculum must ensure equality of access for pupils with disabilities and SEN, and should recognise and reward the progress made by all children and the work of their teachers in supporting that progress.

“Contact a Family would welcome evidence about what impact assessment the Department for Education has made of the impact of the proposals on disabled children and children with SEN.”

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