SEN Green Paper – ‘Support and Aspiration’

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.

The Green Paper talks a lot about ‘parental choice’, but the new proposals to increase parental choice, already virtually nonexistent for those with disabled young people, will be undermined by proposals in the already published Education Bill which will weaken appeals procedures whilst giving schools greater control over admissions, exclusions, curriculum and teaching methods.

Parents may have choice to say where they would like their child to go but, under these suggestions, schools now have even more ways to say no to a disabled child and under the proposals parents will have fewer ways to challenge that decision.

On the plus side the Green Paper does put forward the idea of disabled children and those with SEN being given the opportunity to challenge decisions made by adults in relation to school, support, learning options but will this idea be reflected in reality?

What are your views on the paper?


There is one comment.

  1. Comment by Joe Whittaker
    Gravatar of Joe Whittaker
    Joe Whittaker · 6 May 2011

    This Coalition Government like past Governments does know how to get their legislation through more effectively – they encourage divisions where divisions do not exist.

    This proposed legislation is relying on such a division between parents. They are perpetuating the illusion of “parental choice” It is used in this Green Paper “The Choice” to parents between mainstream school and special school is a calculated distraction.

    Parents of disabled children do not have a choice of the school they want for their child, the school will choose them. This applies to all parents of disabled children. If we allow ourselves to be drawn into an argument “Mainstream School” Good “Special School” Bad it becomes a nonsense argument, which does not help anyone.

    If we get into an argument, which is one parent telling another parent what they should do for their child, this becomes the calculated distraction that can go on forever and stops parents looking at the real issues of this legislation: cuts in teaching staff, cuts in support services, cuts in resources, the breaking up of a national schooling system, restricting the aspirations of ALL disabled children.

    This is exactly the calculated division this government would like to generate.

    As a parent of a disabled child you will get what you want, without a struggle, so long as you agree with what you are offered.

    The focus should be on How Inclusion Works! When it does not it is because there is something wrong with the way the school is organised or the we organise the support or because the school is not listening to the individual learner.

    By continuing to emphasise how we know inclusion is working and why it is right for all children we have a greater chance of coming to a deeper and common understanding.



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