Government Is Turning Its Back On Students, Advocates
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 19, 2003
LONDON, ENGLAND--An alliance of five disability groups have accused the government of reversing its policy of including children with "special needs" in regular schools, and instead favoring specialized, segregated programs.
In a new government report, education minister Baroness Ashton of Upholland wrote: "The special schools sector enjoys the Government's full support. Inclusion is not an agenda to close special schools. I want special schools to be centres of expertise working with mainstream schools and the wider community to support pupils with special educational needs."
The report recommends regular schools and specialized schools work together, a move that advocates worry would lead to more students being segregated.
Many parents of children with disabilities who have been through the specialized schools say their children are opposed to the programs existing, the Independent reported.
The alliance, which includes the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education, claim the government's new emphasis will lead to thousands of students being denied an inclusive education.
The editorial in Monday's Independent condemned the government's move, calling it "highly regrettable".
"Mainstream schools should provide for disabled children" (The Independent)