Inclusion Now 68


By Sharon Smith, Parent, PhD Researcher and Editorial Board member


Welcome to Inclusion Now 68, with Spring 2024 inclusive education news.

Opening this edition, on Page 3, Lucy Wing, a Young Disabled campaigner and participant in ALLFIE’s Our Voice project, tells us about the opportunity she had to speak in Parliament about ending the segregation of Young Disabled people in residential education settings. This is a difficult but important read that raises awareness of the historical and ongoing abuse of Disabled people in residential settings and calls for the end of these institutions. Lucy’s speech is illustrated by a Crippen cartoon (page 6)

On Page 8 Edmore Masendeke, ALLFIE’s Policy and Research Officer, highlights the omission of Telepresence Robots in the Department for Education’s statutory guidance relating to pupils who cannot attend school due to health needs. These robots currently help children to continue to attend mainstream settings remotely, maintaining connection with their peers when at home or in hospital.

Richard Reiser provides a report about progress in Australia and Ireland towards greater educational inclusion on Page 10. In the coming months there will be an ongoing debate in Australia about phasing out segregated education, and in Ireland the National Council for Special Education has launched a landmark policy advice paper recommending systemic reform that would result in all pupils being educated together in their local communities.

Michelle Daley and I then discuss the current UK SEND Change Programme on page 14, arguing that the introduction of a national template for Education, Health and Care plans holds the promise of being able to rethink assessment and documentation processes.

On Page 17 Saista Parwin provides a report and event diary from her attendance as Youth representative at the 13th Commonwealth Youth Ministers meeting in London last September, before Kihembo Wilbert, shares his story of perseverance and academic success within the Ugandan education system on Page 20. He discusses the need for greater digital inclusion to allow independence and to reduce social isolation.

Richard Reiser discusses the eugenic legacy within the UK education system and the work of Jack Tizard, whose work challenged the notions of ineducability, arguing that Disabled children could benefit from education and make progress (Page 23). The issue closes with a legal question about Health budgets within EHCPs (Page 27).

By Sharon Smith, Parent, PhD Researcher and Editorial Board member