New NCSE Guidelines for Setting up and Organising Special Classes published alongside second stage of research report

Date: Aug 9, 2016

The NCSE is today publishing new Guidelines for Setting up and Organising Special Classes. Special classes are for some students with special educational needs who benefit from smaller class sizes.
The NCSE Guidelines highlight the need for school leaders to proactively plan to meet the continuing professional development needs of special class teachers to ensure that they are equipped to teach students with diverse special needs. The Guidelines recommend that school planning should include whole school policies in relation to the education and inclusion of students with special educational needs to mitigate the risk of students feeling stigmatised.
Jennifer Doran, Head of Research at the NCSE noted “our research highlighted a number of worrying issues regarding special classes, such as students feeling negative about attending special classes and teachers feeling unprepared to teach in these settings. That is why we developed these guidelines- to provide good practice points to schools to ensure that all students feel valued and welcomed under a whole school approach to inclusion”.
The guidelines also set out clearly how schools can set up and organise special classes to create a suitable learning environment to meet the needs of students enrolled. The research demonstrated that schools leaders were uncertain about how to establish classes and the best ways to provide for students within them. These guidelines feature a number of good practice points that will be useful to schools and practitioners in creating supportive and inclusive learning environments for students who are unable to be in a mainstream class.
Alongside the guidelines, the National Council for Special Education is also pleased to announce the publication of the second phase report of its commissioned research study into special classes.
To download the guidelines, please click here
To download the second stage research report, please click report