Inclusion stops at the age of 16

31st March 2006 at 01:00
Those people working with adults with severe disabilities in FE would not be surprised by your important findings ("Disabled students shut out by lack of money", FE Focus, March 24).

These services have been underfunded and had ill-defined progression routes for years. As a special school head, I always found it baffling that we care about inclusion in schools but not when young people get to their late teens. I lost count of the number of times I had to explain to parents and their sondaughter that the options available were limited by local funding. For the most needy, the only options may involve a stark choice between being cared for at home or going into residential provision, often hundreds of miles away.

We seem to be preparing these young people for an adulthood of marginalisation and low expectations. What does this say about us as a society? That we can't cope with the possibility that the most severely disabled adults may be able to live in our midst, and contribute meaningfully to the community? Let's hope your report is a spur for government and wider society to face up to this critical equal opportunities issue.

Phil Goss (former headteacher) 22 Ruskin Drive Kirkby Lonsdale Carnforth, Lancs

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