For several decades, education in the UK has been based on the principle of mass scale and universality. In recent years, there has been a tendency to move away from traditional methods. Parents and their children are increasingly attracted to special education, which can be presented in different types and forms. The phenomenon has not yet become very widespread, but families are increasingly turning to it. The direction really has many advantages, but there are also negative aspects.
Features of special education in the UK
According to the provisions of UK legislation, children who have reached school age are entitled to secondary education. This can be either a traditional approach or individual learning at school or at home. Most often, this option is resorted to in a situation complicated by mental or physical illness in a child. Few people know that perfectly healthy children without any peculiarities have the right to apply for this form of education.
Goals and objectives
Individualized education is a separate option for working with a school-age child. Its main goal is to provide an educational opportunity for children in need of a special approach. Specific directional techniques allow you to create a suitable study scheme for each specific student. As a result, he or she can master the material that is provided for by the Federal State Educational Standard. Contrary to popular belief, private education is provided for by the UK education system, therefore, if there are grounds for its use, services are provided free of charge.
Types of special education
The specificity of an individual approach to learning is such that there can be dozens of options for working with a child – this is the meaning of the direction.
Teachers distinguish two schemes for organizing the educational process.
The main types of individual learning:
- a child does not attend a school – he or she studies at home, where teachers visit him or her. The child does not need to go anywhere and works according to his/her own schedule. Most often, the scheme is used in relation to children with disabilities;
- a child attends a school – if the child can be in a team and his/her physical activity is not significantly limited, he or she can attend an educational institution. This option is more convenient for teachers who do not have to change their work schedules.
A mixed scheme is also possible – it combines the techniques of both basic forms of education.
Influence of scientific and technological progress on the way of getting an education
Thanks to the development of the Internet and information technologies, the individual form of education at the school has received new opportunities. First, now children can receive and transmit the necessary information using compact media. Secondly, they have a lot of ways to engage in self-education. Finally, the technologies on the basis of which distance learning has been developed are developing more and more actively. Now teachers do not have to visit their students, lessons can be taught remotely. If necessary, even intermediate testing and other forms of knowledge testing can be carried out online.
An individualized school curriculum can be applied on the basis of the Education Act. This is supported by a number of other documents. It should be noted that not all schools provide the service; some institutions are not responsible for this. The presence of such a service in the institution must be spelled out in the Charter of the organization. It also lists all the rules and features of the provision of the service, mentions the groups of children for whom the referral is designed.
Specificity of the educational process
If a child attends individual lessons at school, the schedule is built depending on his/her capabilities. Children who are homeschooled work according to a set schedule. For an elementary school student, the number of hours devoted to working with a teacher should not exceed eight per week. For children of middle and senior grades, the indicator is ten and twelve hours, respectively.
It turns out that being on individual training, children study most of the time on their own. Some skeptics perceive this as a flaw in the approach, but in practice everything is different. Result-minded children get used to the need to educate themselves. Many of them quickly learn to use additional sources of information and basic manuals. As a result, they often master the program faster and better than their peers with the traditional approach.
Who needs special education?
In order to get one-to-one education at school, arguments must be made in favor of using a special system. Experts have identified several groups of children, whose representatives most often need a specific approach. In general, any child can count on using such a scheme, but if there is no reason for this, distance learning in commercial schools is used.
Children who have problems with academic performance and/or discipline
If the child as a whole does not study well or does not do well in at least one of the subjects, an individual program at school can be developed for him/her. Also, the system is often used in relation to children who cannot establish relationships in a team or who behave defiantly in communication with teachers. A private approach sometimes becomes the only option for a child with mental or developmental disabilities to get an education.
In such situations, children often not only master the school curriculum but also additionally study with psychologists and defectologists. If after some time the problem is eliminated or smoothed out, the question of introducing the student into the team is raised.
An individual curriculum can benefit not only underperforming students but also gifted students. It is noteworthy that children who make great progress in some subjects may seriously lag behind in other subjects. In order to simultaneously develop the talents of such children and reach a decent level in problem areas, a special curriculum is needed. It is also worth considering that such schoolchildren often face difficulties in communicating with peers, but they feel comfortable being surrounded by adults.
Children who are professionally involved in sports often have to skip classes. After the break, it is difficult for them to perceive information, and no one will adjust the class program for them. In this case, the individual school in one of its many variants also becomes salvation. Thanks to the advancement of the system, as well as the development of information technologies, modern novice athletes fully master the compulsory school curriculum. This allows them to develop comprehensively and continue their education in higher educational institutions after school.
Children with disabilities
Children with disabilities are probably the largest group today. Children who are forced to stay at home due to physical or mental disabilities, as well as developmental features, most often get help in the form of individual lessons. If possible, teachers try to help such students master the standard curriculum. In difficult cases, the basic curriculum is simplified as much as possible, adjusted to the child’s abilities. Today, such a direction as inclusion has been actively developed. With this form of education, comfortable conditions are created in the school itself, so that for children with disabilities can communicate with their peers.
How to transfer a child to special education?
The UK law allows you to either initially formalize individual education at school or to transfer a child to it at any time. To do this, it is enough to write an application in the form and submit it to the institution. The document should describe the reasons for choosing a special form of studying, list your wishes for the program. For example, you may indicate that some compulsory subjects should be given to a student at an intensive pace, while others should be given in slow motion. You can also request a service for conducting additional classes in some disciplines, but this will already be classified as tutoring. Even public schools provide such services for a fee.
Benefits of special education
When considering the transition to special education, it is worth assessing the advantages and disadvantages of individualized learning. It is important to remember that the approach can be presented in different forms.
Positive aspects of special education:
- it accelerates the pace of mastering the material – the teacher works directly with the student, without distraction, without wasting time with other students. This allows the kid to achieve more results in five minutes of classes than in 45 minutes of a full-fledged school lesson. Additional independent activities further increase the speed of learning;
- it saves time – the absence of the need to listen to the answers of other students and the ability to work at their own pace allow the child to follow the standard school curriculum for 1-2 hours of study a day. The rest of the time the student can spend on self-education or favorite activities;
- it takes into account the student’s abilities – the program is built taking into account the child’s wishes, interests, predisposition to subjects. Disciplines that are uninteresting for the student are worked out in the minimum volume sufficient to master the basic program;
- comfortable working environment – the approach allows you to choose the optimal training schedule, to equip a comfortable study place. At the same time, the student will not be distracted by other students, which will make it possible to usefully spend the time allotted for the lesson;
- no additional stress – many children are afraid to be the center of attention, they are afraid to look funny or make a mistake. Private lessons help them relax and reach their full potential.