Wednesday, 23 April 2014

T is for Training

A short post today – school holidays mean swapping school jobs for home jobs unfortunately so I have a garden and home to do maintenance on today as time is running out before I return to school!

raining for SEN is expensive, time restrained and not very practical – or so it appears to me.  Course leaflets regularly come into my pigeon hole at school but very few offer what teachers need and the cost is normally so prohibitive to a school’s budget (sending one member of staff for £199 for one day’s training is not realistic when we also need to pay another £200 pounds in costs for a supply teacher!) that often I just put them straight into the recycling bin.

Training for teachers needs to be about how we manage special needs within a classroom setting rather than a general awareness of a particular need or a day of being geared to how to best teach that one child forgetting about all the others in the class.  More courses need to be laid on for our support assistants about managing groups, new ideas in special needs education and trying out resources.  

Some training has been brilliant such as Talkboost this was for both teachers and TAs with quality resources given on the day and for the whole class delivery as well as specific groups based on improving communication for some of our youngest children in school which would have major benefits as they proceed through their education.  I also attend free seminars given by a variety of specialists and teachers (private and public) at the Education Show once a year.  Their ideas often come from their own experiences and have been tried and tested in real classrooms with real children.

Free training should in my view be offered for the benefit of all – why should a school be penalised if they have children with special needs – why should they have to pay more for their training than a school which does not have such needs but both are measured by the success of all pupils?  Remember that every time a teacher goes on a training course their class has to be covered so there is always a cost to the school whether the training is free or not!

I would also like to be able to disseminate training in my own school on a regular basis but this would need to be after school and with all the other things teachers do after the children go home – sorting resources, marking books, parent meetings, running clubs for children it is very difficult to find the time for such meetings to occur.  Our once a week staff meetings which normally last up to 1 ½  hours are already packed with new government initiatives, whole school data and assessment analysis, moderation meetings and learning about the latest ICT and curriculum packages so special needs training is way down the list.

I’d love to know how others feel about training – maybe let others know about any useful tips you picked up on your latest course or about how you disseminate training in your own school – what are the best ways to do this?

TpT resource T is for Telling the Time – I have just reduced this in my store!


  1. Nearly any district mandated PD is sure to be a big time suck and coma-inducing. I especially hate listening to someone outside my curriculum area tell me how to teach w/in my curriculum. The best PD is generated by teachers for teachers.

    1. Glenda - you shoot straight from the hip!! I think we might be mates if we taught in the same school.

  2. When I was a child you followed the teacher or got lost. (I often got lost), today the teachers are working so hard in trying to teach in a more balanced full group atmosphere that I think the job is FAR, FAR more demanding than it used to be. That being said there are still some very god teachers and some very unimpressive ones in my area. When my son was younger and I volunteered every day (he was born with severe food allergies and I had to be around , it was so much fun to be impressed but sometimes very disheartening. Teaching is so much more than a subject at certain age levels.
    On a field trip, this was years ago, the teachers instead of placing themselves strategically to be there for the kids sat as a little group and started to gossip in an appalling way, criticizing a parent whose child was on that very bus.. It was not only unprofessional but extremely rude,
    Thanks for being teachers and helping forge a future. #AtoZchallenge ☮Peace ☮ ღ ONE ℒℴνℯ ღ ☼ Light ☼ visiting from

    1. Thank you for posting such a detailed comment and your kind words. You are right there is good and bad in all walks of life (although I have yet to meet the child who was bad through their own design). I am going to do a post for my letter V on volunteers as this is another area in special education where many parents give so much so I'd love you to pop over and let me know more about your experiences on Friday if you can?