Filed under: Education and the new government | Tags: Academies, Green Paper, Special Educational Needs
I am really worried about what is happening to Education in this country. The new coalition government has forced the Academies Bill through Parliament using procedures brought in to expedite anti-terror legislation. Apart from the gung-ho attitude displayed by everyone from the Prime Minister down to the civil servants answering questions on the subject (I know, I’ve got the emails), there is a worrying lack of certainty about what happens to special educational needs provision in Academies.
Also in the Press, Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph writes ‘The Green Paper ordered by Miss Teather into special educational needs and the lives of disabled children will be published in the autumn’. Sarah Teather is the Children’s Minister. Follow this link to see the article:
Few people would dispute that the system around the identification and meeting of special educational needs is in need of radical overhaul. This is one reason for having a Green Paper on the subject. However, I can see a lot of macho posturing in the Press from those in authority who wish to change our Education legislation, but these government officials have offered little public consultation on the matter.
There seems to be a worrying move by the Daily Telegraph to portray special educational needs as ‘bad behaviour’, or simply low attainment, with parents apparently seeking to have their children labelled with a special educational need just so they can cherry pick the best schools. Prince’s article appears to imply that SEN is a myth, simply because increasing numbers of children are now being identified with SEN. Increased diagnosis of SEN is a good thing, and we can’t ignore this. Nor should we begrudge the money it costs us as a society to meet these needs – although the Daily Telegraph seems to want us to do just that. I have never known a special educational need to go away if ignored, and find it difficult to believe that things have ever improved for a special needs child whose low attainment is deemed to be the result of bad behaviour!
I never thought that I would miss the last Government so much, as there was never enough funding to be had and the LEA was always looking to cut provision to save money. However, I am eternally grateful to them for bringing in the Disability Discrimination Act, the Disability Equality Duty The Equality Act and Human Rights legislation which will protect our children’s rights. I think we are going to need them.
Are you worried now?
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