A team of graduates trained to support learners with special educational needs will soon be helping to address a shortage in the schools’ workforce.
The first cohort of graduates from the course, which launched in Wrexham Glyndwr University in September 2013, are now preparing to study further, training to become teachers or working as teaching assistants.
The number of pupils requiring Special Educational Needs (SEN) in schools in Wales has increased more than 15 per cent over the last decade, up from 90,672 in 2003-4 to 105,143 in 2015-16.*
Wrexham Glyndŵr University launched its BA (Hons) Education (Additional Learning Needs/ Counselling Skills and Psychology) to train a new generation of graduates with specialist skills to meet this growing demand.
Judith Ellwood, senior lecturer in education at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “During the past 20 years or so, the schools’ workforce and pupil profiles have changed dramatically, with the inclusion agenda gathering momentum and the number of learners with Special Educational Needs in mainstream schools increasing rapidly.
“Consequently there is now a need for Education undergraduates to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to enable them to work with children and young people who require additional and targeted support in mainstream schools, resource provision and special schools.
“This is the first cohort of students to graduate since the programme was launched in September 2013. They have been a brilliant group throughout and have supported each other tremendously. Each and every one of them will be an asset to the schools’ workforce.
“A number of the students are now on PGCE programmes and all who applied were offered places at their first choice university.
“As a group, their award classifications are excellent. I am immensely proud of them and will follow their careers with interest. Huge congratulations.”
The BA (Hons) Education course (ALN/SEN) at Wrexham Glyndwr University is available to study three years full time or six years part-time.
*Welsh Government statistics, statswales.gov.wales