Obama's advisor Ari Ne'eman speaks out against UK Govt policy to reverse bias towards inclusion - http://tinyurl.com/6d7g9bx
Parent Confronts David Cameron about his Position
Jonathan Bartley, confronted the Conservative leader
with his son Samuel as he left an event in South London. Mr Bartley
voiced his concern about Tory plans to "end the bias towards the
inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools".
Mr Bartley told Mr Cameron about the two-year struggle
he had faced to get seven-year-old Samuel into his local mainstream
school, and said the existing system was already biased against disabled
children being educated alongside their able-bodied peers.
Mr Cameron insisted that, as the parent of a disabled
child himself, he was "passionate" about helping them get
the education that was right for them and would not do anything to make
it more difficult for them. But Mr Bartley said: "It is the
wrong way to go. You are not representing the needs of children in mainstream
education. You want to segregate disabled children.
"You are saying you want to reverse the bias
towards the inclusion of children in mainstream schools. At the moment
there is a bias against inclusion, not a bias for it, as your manifesto
says. You talk about the broken society. It nearly broke up our family
getting our son into school.
"His two sisters go there, it's our local school,
we have had to struggle for two years and in the end the Secretary of
State had to intervene. There is a bias against inclusion and you are
saying there's a bias for it."
Mr Cameron - whose disabled son Ivan died last year
- said: "I absolutely promise you that I would never do anything
to make it more difficult for children to go to a mainstream school.
"At the moment, people don't get what they want.
You didn't get what you wanted, I didn't get what I wanted. We both
had to fight. We are going to make it easier by making sure that statements
(of special needs) are not provided by local education authorities,
they are provided by someone separate".
Jonathan Bartley's follow-up article in the Guardian 28/4/10