On Wednesday, Jane Vaughan, Director of Education at the NAS, gave evidence to the Education Select Committee, which is currently holding an inquiry into behaviour. The idea behind the session was for MPs on the Committee to hear from teachers and of organisations that represent children with special educational needs. Representatives of the Special Educational Consortium, I CAN and Young Minds gave evidence too.
You can watch the Select Committee session online. The evidence from the NAS begins at 1 hour and 14 minutes.
During the session, Jane put forward several ideas. Firstly, she said that we should focus more on a child’s learning, and the support they need to learn, rather than on managing a child’s behaviour, because when a child is able to learn, behavioural problems can be avoided.
Jane called upon the committee to think carefully about autism awareness training for all teaching staff, including head teachers and governors. She also said that assessments should be carried out before schools think about excluding a pupil, in order to make sure that their perceived bad behaviour is not due to a special educational need.
During the evidence, Jane gave several examples of when a special educational need was mistaken for bad behaviour. You can watch one of them at 2 hours and 4 minutes into the video.