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ERIC Number: EJ968744
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0885-6257
English Learning Support Assistants' Experiences of Including Children with Special Educational Needs in Physical Education
Vickerman, Philip; Blundell, Milly
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v27 n2 p143-156 2012
According to Blatchford, learning support assistants (LSA) in schools within England comprise of a quarter of their workforce. In recent years, the inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream school settings has seen significant rises. Furthermore, the English government has raised expectations on the amount of physical education (PE) and school sport young people should engage in. This study examined the views, opinions and experiences of LSAs within England in relation to their perceived competence and confidence in supporting children with SEN in PE. Previous studies by Smith and Green, Morley et al. and Vickerman have noted widespread lack of training and professional development not only for LSAs, but also for PE teachers. Research by Morley et al. also indicates LSAs are more prevalent in other areas of the school curriculum than PE. This study surveyed 500 LSAs via a questionnaire in primary, secondary and special schools in England with a response rate of 142 (28.4%). This was followed up with interviews. The study found 63.3% of LSAs had received generic SEN training, whilst only 5.5% had received PE specific training. Of the 5.5% who received PE specific training 70.5% found it useful. Findings indicate best practice occurred when LSAs and PE teachers worked collaboratively in pedagogical planning and delivery. A model of effective LSA support for children with SEN in PE is proposed through which government and schools should consider adopting this model as a mechanism for reflecting, refining and delivering effective PE. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)