Advocacy leadership and the deprofessionalising of the special educational needs co‐ordinator role
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AbstractThe UK government is proposing to replace M-level national award for special educational needs co-ordination training, mandated for SENCos in England, with an unaccredited national professional qualification. Such downgrading of their qualification level is intended to significantly increase the number of qualified SENCos; however, this is likely to reduce SENCos' capacity to exercise ‘advocacy leadership’ in support of students at risk of marginalization and social exclusion. We reject a neoliberal political discourse of continual improvement that neglects the need for critical literacy and research-informed inclusive practice on the part of SENCos, and suggest that endemic exclusionary practices in English schools are more likely to go unchallenged. The move towards nonaccredited SENCo status risks their deprofessionalisation, and this proposal is linked to an academisation agenda and efforts to normalize a trichotomised education system (comprising mainstream, ‘special’ and ‘alternative’ provision) by presenting such changes as an improvement.
CitationDone, E.J., Knowler, H., Richards, H. and Brewster, S. (2023) Advocacy leadership and the deprofessionalising of the special educational needs co‐ordinator role. British Journal of Special Education, 50(2) pp.197-218. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8578.12449
JournalBritish Journal of Special Education
Description© 2022 The Authors. Published by Wiley on behalf of National Association for Special Educational Needs. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8578.12449
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/