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Allfie's Blog

Blackburn College – Further Education and Inclusion

October 2nd, 2013

At a recent discussion day organised by ALLFIE, a talk by Ann Harwood centred on the educational provision at Blackburn College. This is a college which OfSTED describes as ‘outstanding’.

Ann is the ‘Additional Learning Support Manager’ at Blackburn College and during her presentation, she discussed, from her perspective, how the college worked
towards creating an inclusive educational provision. Ann had previously completed a HND in Business Studies. Ann started at Blackburn College in the 1990s, as a part-time tutor teaching Dance and Drama at one of the college’s centres. This was at a time when the government were initiating their ‘Care in the Community’ programme. The Community Care Act 1990 was a legislative response to the crisis that had been occurring in short- and long-stay residential institutions (and hospitals). Pauline Morris highlighted the plight of a number of disabled people in a book entitled ‘Put Away’, written in 1969. Maggie Potts and Rebecca Fido in a book entitled ‘A Fit Person to be Removed’ written in 1991 also recounted the personal accounts of disabled people in institutions. The recent Oral History Project by ALLFIE supported by English Heritage has also  recorded some of these earlier experiences (howwasschool.org.uk). Read the rest of this entry »

Exclusion with Inclusion? How can we tell the difference?

September 4th, 2013

If you are reading this, my guess is that you believe in inclusive education for all children and young people, however how do we know when inclusion becomes exclusion? To achieve inclusion in an inclusive setting, is educating a child outside of the classroom necessary? When and if it happens what stops it from turning into another form of exclusion? Read the rest of this entry »

Illegal Exclusions from School

March 6th, 2013

A recent report looking at the illegal exclusion of disabled pupils paints a bleak picture. But campaigners say that it could be the tip of the iceberg.

More than 50 per cent of the families with a disabled child who participated in Contact a Family’s Falling Through The Net report said that they had been asked to collect their child before the end of the school day because of a lack of support staff.

The report also found that more than 50 per cent of families had been told that a school activity or trip was unsuitable for their disabled child.

Unlike formal exclusions, schools do not have to report these sorts of exclusions to the local authority. It is not subject to review or external monitoring and can drag on indefinitely.

The report put the weekly level of illegal exclusions at almost 25 per cent and the daily figure at 15 per cent.

Read full article, including what ALLFIE had to say here: http://disabilitynow.org.uk/article/illegal-exclusions-school-bad-report

Call to Action – Open Letter

February 27th, 2013

An Open Letter from
The Alliance for Inclusive Education, (Allfie) to all who are concerned, about the ending of a commitment to Inclusive Education In Newham

 20th February 2013

Disability News Service (DNS) has raised the concern that Newham College is about to embark on a project, supported by Newham Council, that will result  in the segregation of hundreds of  disabled students. The national and international reputation of The London Borough of Newham, where inclusive education was assured, is in danger of being totally undermined by The Management of Newham College. Read the rest of this entry »

Inclusion in Afghanistan

December 12th, 2012

You’re going WHERE?’ was the anxious response from most people when I told them that I had accepted a job in Afghanistan, where I would spend a month evaluating an inclusion project for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA). Read the rest of this entry »

Dickens on Inclusion

February 29th, 2012

Everybody seems to be talking about the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth.

I started reading Nicholas Nickleby on my new gadget at Christmas.  For someone who can only use one hand I have put off reading any big books long ago.  My gadget solved that.

Into the second chapter and enter the Muffin Company, a great ruse for making money that wasn’t really there (modern day parallels, Fanny Mae and RBS, abound). Read the rest of this entry »

English Baccalaureate – widening the gap?

August 5th, 2011

With exam results arriving in the next couple of weeks the UK is full of very nervous teenagers. While the current system has no real flexibility for disabled learners, the Commons Education Select Committee is worried that recent proposals by the government to focus students attention on achieving 5 qualifications in English, Maths, two Sciences, History or Geography and a Modern or Ancient Language will negatively affect students as it is likely less money will be given to other subjects like art and ITC. Read the rest of this entry »

The Absurdity of ‘Removing the Bias Towards Inclusion’

July 15th, 2011

For all inclusionists, the cornerstone aim of the Government’s SEN policy – removing the bias towards inclusive education – is absurd.

A short word-play with the definition of inclusion soon shows where this absurdity lies.

There are several meanings embedded in the concept of inclusion – all of them important and, once named, none of them are really open to much serious debate about their place as core values in a civilised society. Let’s look at a few of the meanings that the concept of inclusion carries: Read the rest of this entry »

Inclusion, not Integration

May 11th, 2011

A few days ago we had an open meeting of members and supporters to discuss ALLFIE’s response to the current SEN Green paper ‘Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability’. Read the rest of this entry »

SEN Green Paper – ‘Support and Aspiration’

April 6th, 2011

A few weeks ago the government launched the ‘Support and Aspiration: A New Approach to Special Educational Needs & Disability’ Green Paper and opened its consultation. In the paper it talks about removing the ‘bias in favour of inclusion’ but in ALLFIE’s experience there is no bias, in fact many parents and young people still have to fight to access mainstream education provision. Read the rest of this entry »