ABSTRACT

In planning this book we have asked each of our contributing authors to emphasise the positive aspects of present and future practice relating to special educational needs (SEN) in both initial teacher education (ITE) and continuing professional development (CPD). We acknowledge that it can sometimes be difficult to discount Garrett’s (1996) rather chilling contemporary observation on teacher education and SEN that ‘half a century after the 1944 Education Act many children with special educational needs still do not have access to an appropriately trained teacher and, with so many of those early pioneering campaigners reaching the age of retirement, as well as financial cutbacks and the closing of special education courses in colleges and institutions of higher education, the future looks even bleaker’ (p.23). Nevertheless, it is our belief that opportunities do exist, and our contributors have sought to illustrate some of these in their writing.