Under the 1944 Education Act, children with special educational needs were categorised by their disabilities defined in medical terms. Pupils were labelled into categories such as “maladjusted” or “educationally sub-normal” and given “special educational treatment” in separate schools.
Special schools are designed specifically to provide appropriate special education to children who are not able to attend classes in the mainstream schools. These special schools must able to provide individualized education, addressing specific needs. Common special needs include challenges with learning, communication challenges, emotional and behavioural disorders, physical disabilities, and developmental disorders.
Students with these kinds of special needs are likely to benefit from additional educational services such as different approaches to teaching, use of technology, or a specifically adapted teaching area. Along with that schools must have facilities that enhance development in children, for instance – soft play areas, sensory rooms, or swimming pools etc.
The number of children with needs for special education services continues to increase but parents may not recognize, understand or accept their child’s needs for special education. Moreover, the public, including the parents, are unaware of the special education programs available.
As any other mainstream school, a special school needs to be promoted. This type of school has to create programs to increase understanding and advocacy of special education. Moreover, organising a conference to bring attention to special education through a program of speakers of national recognition in a workshop format is a great way of promotion. Don’t overlook a sponsorship of lectures for the teachers in public and private schools and offer school printed literature.