Diary of a disillusioned teacher: the staffing, stress, sickness circular argument

In the field of applied behaviour analysis, we talk about the unhelpfulness of circular reasoning. Using ADHD as a means to explaining and excusing behaviour is a better known example. So here goes my explanation:

“why does your child behave that way?”

“because he has ADHD”

“how do you know he has ADHD?”

“because he behaves in that way”

This reasoning is so unhelpful, it solves no ones problem and ultimately tries to give an excuse for a behaviour that gives no explanation for why a behaviour is happening and what to do about it to change it.

Staffing within special needs schools, in my experience follows a circular reasoning loop, it is a problem, the problem needs to be addressed.

Staff are often off sick

this persistant poor staffing puts added stress on the remaining staff

The stress and exhaustion of working understaffed causes staff sickness

staff are off sick.

The solution is simple … Employ more staff, focus more on staff well being… Address the problem. There is no bank of SEN TAs.

I am no fool. I know there is no money, there is little press interest and there is no government interest whatsoever.

But the problem exists, it is circular, in the meantime the ultimate outcome, in my point of view, is that the pupils these staff work with do not receive the level of support, care and instruction that they deserve.







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