Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

BBC's interview with Riddell on the level of teacher expertise in ASN in Scotland (21.12.2016)

Professor Sheila Riddell was interviewed by the BBC's Ian Hamilton for a documentary programme "Am I Included?" on the 21st December 2016.

The programme examines whether, after 16 years of mainstream education for children with disabilities in Scotland and after decades of struggle for a more equal society, real inclusion has been achieved.


The programme is available on BBC iPlayer online for a finite period of time until 20th January 2017, but the part of the transcript with Professor Riddell's remark can be found below.


Hamilton: When one in five children in Scotland had additional support needs (ASN), it's extraordinary that the teaching qualification did not include any formal training in this area.

Riddell: I do think that there is a problem with the level of teacher expertise in ASN in Scotland. I think sometimes, people thought that if you had inclusion, it would work automatically, just having children with their peers. But you do need to have specialist staff, as well as generic teaching staff.

Hamilton: It sounds to me like we're sitting on a time bomb here, aren't we?

Riddell: Well, I do think that we are going to have to have a reassessment of how inclusive schools are staffed, and how children with ASN are supported. Because just simply identifying a child as having ASN doesn't automatically mean that that child is going to get the support they need to flourish in schools.

Riddell's remarks in this documentary were picked up by both Stephen Naysmith from the Herald Scotland on the 19th December 2016.  This article can be viewed via the following link:

The Herald Scotland (by Stephen Naysmith, 19.12.2016) - Disabled pupils failed by lack of school staff, warns expect

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