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The Children and Families Bill
We have just heard that at a meeting with Peers with Lord Nash on Tuesday 4th December, he was told in no uncertain terms that if the Government continues to weaken rights to inclusive education there will be a lot of upset and angry people!
On 10th December – International Human Rights Day we are calling for the Government to amend the Children and Families Bill so that disabled children and young peoples have a guaranteed human right to mainstream education.
Call to Action
The Joint Committee on Human Rights have warned the Government that the SEN provisions in the Children and Families Bill may violate disabled children and young peoples’ human rights to mainstream education. The JCHR made the following points:
- There is a lack of certainty about when disabled children and young people can be refused a mainstream school placement.
- There is a lack of certainty about when disabled children and young people have a right to access mainstream education.
- The omission of an inclusive education principle
- Removal of Inclusive Schooling Guidance that includes Local Authority’s strategic role in the development of inclusive education practice.
- Removal of the detailed examples of how both schools and local authorities can take reasonable steps to be inclusive of disabled children and young people.
See full report here
The Government have not only ignored the Joint Committee on Human Rights recommendations, but have removed all elements of the Inclusive Schooling Guidance that make it clear Local Authorities must develop inclusive education practice in their local area from the existing SEN Code of Practice.
ALLFIE have set up a petition asking the Government to include inclusive schooling guidance in the SEN Code of Practice – please sign the petition here
If you are unable to attend the 'Education Don’t Segregate' Action on 10th December then please send letters (templates below) to Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) firstname.lastname@example.org and Lord Nash (Education Minister responsible for Special Educational Needs reforms) email@example.com
Template letter to Michael Gove
Template letter to Lord Nash
Returning to segregated education by ‘removing the bias towards inclusion’ is the cornerstone of the Coalition Government’s Education policy for disabled learners. The Coalition Government is planning the first major attack on disabled young peoples’ rights to inclusive education through the draft Children and Families Bill which we expect to be out in July. The proposed Bill will include the proposals outlined in the 'Support and Aspiration: A New Approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability' Green Paper and 'Progress and Next Steps' document. The proposals fit into five categories:
• Early identification and assessment
• Giving parents’ control
• Learning and achieving
• Preparing for adulthood
• Services working together for families
ALLFIE will be campaigning so that all disabled learners have a right to participate in mainstream education with all necessary support.
ALLFIE has achieved widespread support from the SEN sector about the Government myth that there is ‘bias towards inclusive education’ – the sector supports ALLFIE’s view that NO BIAS EXISTS!
We are now planning for the publication of the Children and Families Bill and will be letting our members and networks know about how they can get involved shortly.
Watch this space!
Previous information on the Green Paper can be found in the following Allfie Briefings:
Image by Simone Aspis