What is the Warnock Report?

Robert Johnston

The Warnock report It is a document prepared by the British Education Commission in 1978 referring to the special educational needs of children. This writing is based for the most part on the British special education model.

It is named after Helen Mary Warnock, a British philosopher specializing in the philosophy of education. And president of the investigation commission on special education in her country.

The Warnock report refers to programs dedicated to children with disabilities, with an emphasis on the special education sector and special educational needs.

One of its main premises being the fact that all children have the right to be educated.

The Warnock report also aims to promote a model of education, where the institutions dedicated to it are trained in special education. In order, in this way, to be able to provide the same service to those people who have learning difficulties.

At the same time, this report seeks to eliminate the existing differences in education. Understanding that educational needs are common to all children. And it is the school that must adapt to the individual need of each one of them..

The Warnock report also focuses on the idea that the school should be a place of education and at the same time a center of support. Which can provide resources, advice and information to the parents of the children who attend it.

Central themes of the Warnock Report

The Warnock report has expanded upon the concepts of Special Education and Special Educational Needs developed up to that time..

Indicates that the first should satisfy the second, with special educational needs common to all children.

Its main premises include the training and improvement of teachers; education for children under five with special educational needs and education for young people from 16 to 19 years old.

At the same time it rethinks the concept of diversity and suggests that education should always have the same purpose. Being a good to which everyone has a right.

Teacher training and improvement

The Warnock Report establishes that all teachers must possess the necessary conditions to recognize, identify and work with children with special educational needs. Regardless of the place where they work, these being ordinary or special places.

In turn, it establishes that teachers must know and accept the concept of special educational needs.

The report also suggests including in the academic training of teachers, a section corresponding to training in special educational needs. Indicates the need to incorporate a small number of students with these needs into their work. In this way, they can put into practice the measures learned to satisfy the special educational needs of their students..

In addition, it promotes the idea of ​​including subjects with special needs as teachers who promote teaching, so that children feel motivated to learn..

Education for children under 5 with special educational needs

According to the Warnock report, education should start early for those who are born or have a disability shortly after birth. Considers of fundamental importance the development of these children and the fact that they can receive early stimulation according to their needs.

Based on this, it also recommends expanding the number of nursery schools and special nurseries for those who have more serious difficulties, thus promoting that these children can start the school year with peers of the same age, in a normal class.

Education of young people from 16 to 19 years old

The Warnock report promotes the need to create spaces where the education of young people who are of full-school age but who continue to make progress in acquiring knowledge continue.

To this end, it highlights the importance of creating spaces that can provide these benefits, with a coordinated approach related to post-secondary education..

It promotes the idea that these young people can make a specialization and have a space for social exchange. Having as a fundamental purpose the development of their autonomy and independence.

Diversity Concept

It is a key concept used in the Warnock report, which refers to the fact that special educational needs are inherent in all children, since each of them needs and deserves individualized and comprehensive attention to learn and develop.

It is the school's responsibility to provide the necessary educational resources and compensate for students' learning difficulties. To be able to meet the different demands and avoid difficulties.

From this perspective, there will no longer be two distinct groups of children. For the notion of the disabled who receive special education and the non-disabled who receive education is eliminated. All children have educational needs.

What are special educational needs (SEN)?

By definition, SEN are the needs experienced by those individuals who require help or resources that are not usually available in their educational context.. 

The Warnock report refers to special educational needs (SEN) as those that refer to a learning disability.

These can be of a temporary or permanent nature and require specific attention and educational resources. Offering people the possibilities of their personal development through the learning experiences corresponding to the curricular design.

Special educational needs are closely related to the individual characteristics and characteristics of each child.

It is the school that must have the ability to respond to different demands. Welcoming all children, regardless of their individual conditions, including them with a child-centered pedagogy, and thus being able to meet their special educational needs.

The Warnock report also maintains that SEN are common to all children, focusing on their conception of diversity, according to which each child has individual educational needs in order to learn.

Being those who have a learning difficulty those who will need specific attention and resources.

For these cases, the Warnock report proposes five levels for the evaluation of SEN and the support or provision corresponding to each need: Special Education teachers, counselors, local and regional interdisciplinary teams and tutors or directors.

It also proposes the incorporation of individual records for each child with special educational needs. Detailing in these the benefits you need for your progress and personal development.

What is Special Education (EE)?

Education is understood as a good to which all people have the right, with its aims or objectives being the same for all. In addition, they do not make a difference between the subjective diversities existing in a society.

This is the conception of Special Education (EE) that popularized the Warnock report, promoting a revision of the concept at the international level..

The main purposes that Education should promote are the increase of the individual's knowledge about the world that surrounds him and his understanding of it. In addition, the understanding of their own responsibilities as a subject belonging to a society and providing all the tools for the subject to acquire their autonomy and independence, being able to direct and control their own life in this way..

According to its principles, the Warnock report establishes that EE must have a complementary and additional character to that of ordinary education.

For this reason, it further suggests that special schools should not only educate children with severe disabilities, but also become centers of support. Providing information, advice and resources to parents and ordinary schools.

Special education then consists of a set of benefits that are intended to satisfy the special needs of a person, having as a horizon, getting as close as possible to the achievement of the purposes of education.

Within the educational models can be found Inclusive Education, Special Education and School Integration.

Inclusive Education is born from the social model of disability. It considers that all children are different from each other, and that it is the school and the educational system that has to change to meet the individual needs of all students. Whether or not they have learning difficulties.

Special Education must be understood as a set of benefits aimed at ensuring a comprehensive educational process for people with special educational needs..

Understanding benefits such as services, techniques, strategies, knowledge and pedagogical resources according to the different needs, be they temporary or permanent.

School Integration functions as a unification system of ordinary education and Special Education, providing individual services to children with special educational needs..

The Warnock report is based on an analysis of the situation of Special Education in England.

Its premises and recommendations have been a model and reference for the planning and standardization of special educational resources in different parts of the world..

Since its creation, not only have the concepts of Special Education and Special Educational Needs been expanded, but also, great advances have been made in these topics.


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