Teachers And Advocates Warn Transition to Mainstream Schools Could
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 31, 2005
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND--New legislation went into effect Wednesday that transfers Northern Ireland's children with disabilities from specialized, segregated programs and into regular schools.
Teachers groups and advocates alike are worried that the students will not receive the services they need because of a lack of funding.
Educators told the Belfast Telegraph that the schools are not ready yet because mainstream schools have not made their facilities accessible nor have they trained teachers to handle the students' needs.
Even though the government allocated £58 million ($107 million US) to assist in the transition, a local planning group said that more than nearly twice that is needed just to train teachers, principals and boards.
Monica Wilson, chief executive of the advocacy group Disability Action, said: "I do not think there is going to be a big influx of children into mainstream schools but, whether it is one child or 101, children coming into schools from special education deserve equality of treatment as do the other children in the classroom."
"Schools unprepared for new disabled laws" (Belfast Telegraph)