Nov 2018 Briefing: National Day of Action against Disability Discrimination in Education

The Alliance for Inclusive Education is joining forces with education unions for a national day of action against Disability Discrimination in Education. Our focus is on raising MPs’ awareness of the injustices faced by Disabled students when attempting to access mainstream education.

Dear friends

Save the Date: National Day of Action Against Disability Discrimination in Education: November 21st 2018

ALLFIE is joining forces with education unions, students and other campaign groups for a national day of action against Disability Discrimination in Education. Our focus is on raising MPs’ awareness of the injustices faced by Disabled students when attempting to access mainstream education.

Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, we have seen increasing attacks on inclusive education with new legislation and policies that have weakened Disabled students’ right to mainstream education. At the same time, education providers are being financially penalised for promoting inclusive education practices and disincentivised by academic performance measures.

From ALLFIE’s experience, the overwhelming majority of MPs lack any real understanding or appreciation of just how severe the injustices experienced by Disabled students in mainstream education are. This is our chance to put the record straight: disablism and disability-related discrimination is rife in our education system and it needs to end.

Day of Action leaflet
Download the leaflet

This is a call for action:

  • We need you to tell your MP about your experiences of the education system – what works and what doesn’t work.
  • We need to use the power of social media to get the message out to the general public; we need to highlight the widespread disability discrimination that takes place in education on a daily basis.

In solidarity,

Simone Aspis, ALLFIE’s Campaigns & Policy Coordinator

Educate Don’t Segregate

We know many Disabled students experience discrimination at all levels of the education system, which often leads to segregation and exclusion. For example:

  • Schools sending Disabled children with autism home because there isn’t the right support in place.
  • Schools placing Disabled pupils into Alternative Provision because they believe those pupils will harm the school’s GCSE results.
  • FE colleges only offering Disabled students with learning difficulties segregated life skills courses because college tutors can’t or won’t make mainstream courses fully inclusive to all students.
  • Universities refusing to make reasonable adjustments for Disabled students.
  • Education providers refusing to follow inclusive design principles when refurbishing their premises.

The Education Select Committee is currently undertaking a SEND inquiry. Whilst the inquiry’s terms of reference focus on the SEND assessment and EHCP processes and operations, ALLFIE decided to put forward a submission highlighting (1) how the government systematically violates Disabled students’ human right to mainstream education and (2) the failure of current education legislation to promote the presumption of mainstream education.

We are pleased that Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s Director, has been asked to provide oral evidence to the Education Select Committee on the 20th November 2018. The Education Select Committee has a Twitter feed, so please tweet your messages of support for the right to mainstream education to @CommonsEd, including @allfieuk and @DamianHinds.

We need you to act and bring the issue of disability-related discrimination to the forefront of the minds of the government, the Department for Education and MPs.

Contact your MP

We are asking you to raise your concerns with your MP about your experience of disability discrimination in education, and please encourage your MP to attend a parliamentary reception event at the House of Commons on 21st November from 17:30-19:00. ALLFIE is asking MPs to pledge their support for the following during the session:

  • Disabled students’ right to an inclusive education
  • To review education buildings in light of Disabled students’ needs
  • To ensure schools implement reasonable adjustments in a timely manner

Please let us know how you get on.

Get Tweeting!

On the 21st November we will be using the power of social media to tell Damian Hinds and the Department for Education about the widespread disability-related discrimination that thousands of Disabled students experience across the country every day.

Please feel free to write your own tweet beginning with “#DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is…” adding in @DamianHinds @educationgovuk – don’t forget to include us – @allfieuk.

Or you can tweet one or more of the following tweets:

  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when Disabled pupils are 7 times more likely than their non-Disabled classmates to be excluded from school. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when 82% of mainstream schools say they have insufficient funding to make reasonable adjustments for Disabled pupils. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when approx 30% of pupils who leave school between years 10 and 11 have SEN despite making up only 13% of the school population. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when 52% of Disabled pupils with an EHCP are forced to attend a special rather than mainstream school. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when education performance league tables fail to include Disabled students’ learning achievements. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when Disabled students have to pay £200 to access IT, a cost not incurred by non-Disabled students. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when 79% of students attending segregated Pupil Referral Units have SEN. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when, by age 7, 12% of SEND pupils and 11% of EHCP pupils said they were bullied “all of the time” by other pupils, compared to just 6% of their non-disabled peers. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk
  • #DisabilityDiscriminationinEducation is when the proportion of Disabled 16-24 year olds who are NEET is significantly higher than those who are non-disabled. @DamianHinds @educationgovuk

If you are planning to hold any activity on the day, let us know and we can promote it on social media.

If we can help you, please let us know.

Simone Aspis: 0207 737 6030