Press releases

Education Select Committee SEN inquiry ignores Disabled pupils’ fundamental human and civil rights to mainstream education

Press release 26/04/2018

The Education Select Committee is undertaking an urgent inquiry into the SEN reforms brought in under the Children and Families Act by government just over four years ago. The announcement comes against a backdrop of increasing concern over the growing numbers of Disabled children being failed by the education system and revised SEN and schools funding arrangements.

The failures of the SEN framework that need to be investigated include the social injustices that Disabled pupils experience and the growth in both exclusions and segregation as a result of SEN reforms. The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in their scrutiny report on the government’s implementation of Disabled people’s human rights, found that the SEN reforms resulted in the violation of Disabled children’s human rights to mainstream education under Article 24.

“We are deeply concerned, frustrated and angry at the failure to mention inclusive education in the inquiry launch, which is not an accident or ignorance but a deliberate attempt to avoid the issue, that government attacks on inclusive education are a systematic violation of Disabled pupils’ and students’ human rights to inclusive education. The Committee have reported that the SEN reforms do not comply with international standards in promoting Disabled pupils’ rights to participate in mainstream education as set out in UNCRPD Article 24” says Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s Director.

ALLFIE has written to the Chair of the Education Select Committee calling for the inquiry to urgently address the fundamental issue affecting Disabled children, that being the weaknesses of the SEN legal framework to protect and uphold their rights to mainstream education.

For press, campaigning and policy enquiries, please contact our Campaigns & Policy Coordinator Simone Aspis or CEO Tara Flood on 020 7737 6030.