Of inclusion and unpleasantness

29th July 2005 at 01:00
After reading The TES (July 15), it is hard to decide which issue to address: Kenny Frederick's article on inclusion or Ted Wragg's personal attack on Ruth Kelly.

Ms Frederick first. I teach at a special school, and parents are queuing up to get their children into it. If anyone knows about these things, parents do.

People who espouse inclusion at any cost forget that we in the special-schools sector see ourselves as the inclusionists, and others as the excluders.

We have more inclusion in a class of 10 children than anything that appears to take place in mainstream schools. We have whole-school assemblies in which every child has the chance to shine. We have inter-school sports matches; we have awards ceremonies that build self-esteem; work experience is real and valuable; outdoor activities are challenging; and we have national accreditation for every child. How often does this happen in mainstream schools?

Yes, there are some children who should be in mainstream education, but I am fed up with the castigation of the special sector when it offers children an experience they would not get elsewhere. Why else would webe doing this job?

Ted Wragg, usually funny, was unpleasant in his piece. His comments on Ruth Kelly were neither funny nor accurate.

Ms Kelly has been to our school three times. She approached our pupils openly and warmly. She asked our opinions. She was pleasant, and was not at all like the picture he painted. Shame on you, Ted!

Margaret Riley

67 Lymbridge Drive Blackrod, Lancs

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today