01 Sep What is a special school?
Special schools in essence are schools that provide an education for children with special educational needs or disabilities. Often these centers are referred to as LSEN schools which stands for Learner Special Educational Needs Schools.
Different special schools cater to different disabilities, but essentially, they all educate children whose needs cannot be met within a mainstream setting. You will find generic special schools that cater for a wide range of disabilities and then you will also find more specialized schools like those that cater for deaf student, blind students, or autistic learners.
What is the biggest difference between special schools and mainstream schools?
- Special school offer different interventions, and many would have inhouse speech therapists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapy professions.
- The curriculum offered at special schools also differ substantially from those offered in the mainstream schooling environment.
- Special school tend to run on less of an academic curriculum and offer adapted curriculum suited to the individual child.
- A good special school is adequately and appropriately staffed with a diverse variety of professionals all placed strategically to fulfil their role.
- Smaller classrooms are standard practice in special education schools and the teacher to child ratios allow for more 1:1 interaction during class time.
- Staff at special schools offer a high level of expertise in the school’s area of specialization.
- Outdoor play equipment and classroom tools and resources are specialized and often adapted to suit the learners physical and developmental needs.
Placing your child in a specialist school, be if for down syndrome or autism means that you are providing your child with specialized education. Specialized centers admit learners whose support needs can be accommodated under the school’s area of specializations. It means that your child is getting the support in curriculum, assessment and instruction that they need.