ALLFIE response to government announcements for Disabled pupils and Christine Lenehan’s “Good Intentions, Good Enough?” report on residential special schools
Press release 21/08/2018
The Alliance for Inclusive Education (a leading charity that promotes inclusive education) condemns the Government’s woeful response to Christine Lenehan’s “Good Intentions, Good Enough?” report on the experiences and outcomes of children and young people in residential special schools. ALLFIE was very disappointed by the government’s lack of action to eradicate residential and day special schools and continued failure to turn the tide against increased segregated education, resulting in too little being done to improve inclusive education practice.
The announcement by the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, of existing Whole School SEND is a distraction from Lenehan’s core findings of the high costs of residential special school, estimated at £500m per annum for 6,000 pupils who are educated in 334 residential special schools, whilst mainstream schools are facing substantial cuts to their budgets.
The government’s suggestion that parents actively make a choice of special school provision is based on no research or even field work. On the contrary, Lenehan found “many of the children and young people currently in residential special schools and colleges could be educated in their local communities if better support was available.”
The government’s response to the Lenehan recommendations does not offer any substantial strategic direction around improving inclusive education in mainstream schools.
We know of families who have been offered residential special school placement in lieu of suitable provision being made available in their local mainstream schools. This is not a choice. If the government is serious about supporting inclusive education practice then they would implement Disabled pupils’ and students’ human rights to inclusive education under Article 24. The recommendations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities monitoring committee included telling the UK government that they should financially resource a fully comprehensive and inclusive education system.
For more information please contact Simone Aspis on 07856 213 837 /0207 737 6030 or by email.