SEND Review: ALLFIE responds to newly published Government Green Paper

ALLFIE’s highly critical response to the SEND Review Green Paper, published by the UK Government on 29th March. Plus, what’s next? Join our open consultation campaign.

SEN green paper suggests government is finally dumping Cameron’s ‘end the bias’ policy

Welcome to ALLFIE’s latest campaign briefing, covering:

  1. Campaign news: ALLFIE’s response to the SEND Review Green Paper
  2. What’s next? Get involved in upcoming ALLFIE open consultation events
  3. Background: Previous articles and resources

1. Campaign news

On Tuesday 29th March the Government published its long awaited SEND Green Paper

ALLFIE’s Director was quick to respond and critical, in this article published by Disability News Service.

Michelle Daley stated ALLFIE’s key concerns:

“The SEND Green Paper presents as being progressive, through its recognition that the system is failing Disabled children and young people which was echoed in a catalogue of reports published in 2019 as noted in the SEND Review.

The realisation soon hits you that the report is not focused on rights and justice for all Disabled people. The messaging is steeped in social injustice and inequality; not just in education, but also reinforcing discriminatory practices in other areas of society. There is no reference to inclusive education as a human right, nor a commitment to making mainstream education work. Additionally, the report is riddled with biases towards segregated education for Disabled children and young people.

We are concerned that the new National Standards is likely to promote disability discrimination, where some Disabled children (particularly those with high needs) will be forced into segregated education. This is incompatible with the government’s obligations under Article 24 of the UNCRPD.

We should not be surprised that the report was received with a huge disappointment: it gives a green flag to upholding ableism and has erased intersectional identities. The segregation of Disabled children and young people in the UK education system reinforces other forms of social injustice. The government have acknowledged in the report the current failures of the education system, however, the response to such failures is to increase / improve special schools and alternative provisions. This will only continue to intensify the gaps in society between Disabled people and non-disabled people and thus helps to further marginalise communities.

Disabled people need action taken so that the government implement their commitment to Article 24 to end segregation of Disabled people in education.

ALLFIE would hope that after so much harm and trauma experienced by children and Young people through failures by the state in education, this SEND Green Paper would have been the ideal opportunity for the government to co-produce a fully National Inclusive Education system with Disabled people and their allies, as recommended by the UNCRPD Monitoring Committee. This would have a social justice approach, aligned to the report to the UNCRP and delivered on their own commitment under Article 24 (on inclusive education within mainstream settings) of the UNCRPD. This report gives Disabled people no hope for the future and continues to uphold a divided society that disadvantages Disabled people.”

(Michelle Daley, ALLFIE Director)

2. What’s next?

Over the next three months ALLFIE will be holding a series of events for Disabled people and allies, to support and contribute to the Green Paper open consultation. We will update ALLFIE Members via email as soon as the dates are announced.

Not a Member yet? Join our campaign for inclusive education

3. Background