Who would have thought when we were starting to put together the Summer 2017 edition of Inclusion Now that we would be calling it a General Election Special?
Who would have thought when we were starting to put together the Summer 2017 edition of Inclusion Now that we would be calling it a General Election Special? A snap election has been called for the 8th June so we have scanned party manifestos for any promises about inclusion – you will not be surprised that references to inclusion and/or Disabled pupils and students are scant, but there are some – see pages 11, 12 and 13.
It feels like there is a growing divide between the inclusion back pedalling here by the UK government and progress in other countries. I am struck by Richard Rieser’s articles about inclusive education in Bangladesh (pp6/7) where the barriers are huge, and plans for a global funding initiative on inclusive education (pp16/17). On pages 8/9 there is an inspirational piece on how New Brunswick in Canada decided on achieving 100% inclusive education, and took very practical steps which delivered real and sustainable change.
As a survivor of a residential special school myself I am appalled but not surprised by Paul Doyle’s account of his time in a similar setting (pp4/5). He is absolutely right that all young people incarcerated in such settings need a voice, but what they need most is to no longer be separated from their communities – written off by a society that chooses to continually fail young people because we don’t easily fit in.
Whatever the election result, I will wake up on the morning of the 9th June prepared to continue the struggle for real and lasting inclusive education – I hope you will join me!