An inclusive welcome can be found

6th March 2009 at 00:00

The TES Magazine cover story "Apart Together" (February 27) begs an obvious question. It shows that the crucial difference is not between some children and others but between some mainstream schools and others. If some schools can welcome a child with severe or profound learning difficulties, why not all?

Of course, if we told the parents quoted in your article that there are mainstream schools somewhere the country that would take their child whatever her degree of disability, give her real friends and enable her to flourish, they would not believe us.

They don't know that such schools exist. Why not? The Government does not advertise the fact, nor has it provided leadership to spread the good things that certain schools and local authorities do.

Despite the headlines, the Government has not encouraged inclusion. It merely lets it happen, or not. Mostly not.

Chris Goodey, Assistant director, Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education.

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