Alliance for Inclusive Education condemns government plans to bring back selective education
Press release 14/05/2018
The Alliance for Inclusive Education (a leading charity that promotes inclusive education) condemns the government’s announcement of £50 million funding to expand selective school provision that will further reduce the choice of mainstream school for Disabled children.
The government’s own statistics show that children with SEN statements or Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPs) already represent a mere 0.1% of grammar school pupils, despite making up 1.8% of the whole secondary school population. Disabled children without statements or EHCPs make up only 4.2% of grammar school pupils, but 12.4% of all secondary school pupils. This constitutes an enormous underrepresentation rate of between 3 and 18 times.
With substantial cuts to education budgets having a harmful impact upon local authorities and mainstream schools having insufficient funding to properly arrange SEN provision for their Disabled pupils, the government’s grammar school expansion programme is nothing more than another ideological attack on good schools that welcome all pupils regardless of ability.
Simone Aspis (Policy and Campaigns Coordinator) said: “The UN Convention Monitoring Committee concluded that the government’s education policies violate Disabled pupils’ human rights to inclusive education. The expansion of grammar school provision is another government attack on comprehensive and inclusive education and Disabled pupils’ rights to a good and well-resourced mainstream school placement as set out in Article 24 of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”
The option for Disabled children and their parents to choose a good mainstream school placement has been in steady decline as a result of the government’s existing education policy, as indicated by the Department for Education’s own statistics, which show that the number of pupils on the roll of special schools has increased steadily over the past five years. Now with the introduction of greater selection by ability in our education system through the expansion of grammar school provision, choice for SEND pupils and their parents is in danger of becoming non-existent, warns ALLFIE.
For more information please contact Simone Aspis on 07464 797453 /0207 737 6030 or by email.