Press release: ALLFIE’s response to the Government’s National Disability Strategy
28 July 2021: For immediate release
Alliance for Inclusive Education, leading Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) for inclusive education campaigning, is concerned that there is nothing in the Government’s National Disability Strategy to stop the special school population rising. It has been projected that there will be an increase from 113,000 in 2020 to 121,000 in 2024, that includes the establishment of 75 new special schools for children with complex special education needs.
ALLFIE condemns the Government’s National Strategy for lacking any meaningful involvement and engagement with Disabled people’s organisations, in particular Disabled children and Young people. It is therefore not a surprise that the Government has homogenised our identities as a single issue and failed to tackle educational intersectional inequalities. Furthermore, it is not a surprise that the Government completely ignored any strategy proposals to tackle inequalities that Disabled pupils and students experience in segregated education. ALLFIE know that segregated education reinforces being locked out of mainstream education and other life-time opportunities, which has occurred over the past decade and is outlined in ALLFIE’s Manifesto.
“The strategy does not include any proposals to deal with widespread disablism and intersectional discrimination within the education system. It continues to create substantial barriers for Disabled people’s access to mainstream early years, schools, colleges, universities, and apprenticeships. There are no proposals to support Disabled pupils and students access to mainstream education that should include outlawing all forms of segregated education. Furthermore, there is no strategy to develop a fully inclusive education system that supports all Disabled peoples’ human rights to inclusive education as set out in the UNCRDP, article 24 (on education) through reforms to curriculum, qualification assessments, teacher training and practice.”
Simone Aspis (ALLFIE Policy and Campaigns Coordinator)
Notes to editors:
- ALLFIE is a disabled people’s organisation which campaigns for inclusive education for disabled learners. ALLFIE is a unique voice. Formed in 1990, we are the only organisation led by Disabled people focused on campaigning and information-sharing on education, training and apprenticeship issues. We campaign for the right of all Disabled pupils and students to be fully included in mainstream education, training and apprenticeships with all necessary supports. ALLFIE believes that inclusive education is the basis of lifelong equality. Children who learn and play together will grow into adults who can understand and respect each other’s differences.
- Media inquiries: Catherine.Bebbington@allfie.org.uk