Glasgow has my praise

25th February 2005 at 00:00
I am very concerned about the negative spin you placed on my talk to the Enquire conference about inclusion (TESS, February 11). It was not my intention to, and I did not, "name and shame" Glasgow City Council. I understand that your reporter did not actually hear my presentation.

Instead, she asked me a few hurried questions and took away my Powerpoint slides.

Of the 56 slides, there is only one that mentions Glasgow in a table of percentages of pupils educated in special schools and units. It is a matter of fact based on Scottish Executive statistics - not "Mr Rieser's league tables", as you claimed - that a number of local authorities have inherited a large number of special schools.

My purpose in quoting these statistics was to compliment Glasgow City Council on the inclusion training that it is now undertaking for all schools with Disability Equality in Education and the progress it is making toward including disabled children in mainstream education.

I strongly praised Glasgow City Council for being the first council in Scotland to have disability equality training for all its senior managers.

I also praised the good work going on in Glasgow with the Eastbank Learning Community.

I did not say "that (it) would only succeed if the authority accepted it had to put resources into mainstream education". I did say that Glasgow City Council was using its resources in a very constructive way, but that the Scottish Executive needed to give more resources for councils throughout Scotland to do more disability equality training.

I further suggested that the Scottish Executive (not the council) would need to provide double funding during the transition towards an inclusive education system in Scotland, if its principle of inclusion is to be achieved.

I am very sorry that some of my remarks have been misconstrued to the detriment of Glasgow City Council. This was never my intention.

Richard Rieser

DirectorDisability Equality in Education

Essex Road, London

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