The injustice of segregation

31st January 1997 at 00:00
Zelda McCollum is a teacher whose daughter Chloe went to her local primary school in South London from nursery to Year 6. Chloe, who has severe learning difficulties, progressed to everyone's satisfaction.

Before secondary transfer, however, a re-assessment resulted in Chloe being directed to a special school for children with severe learning difficulties, where her needs "would best be met".

Shocked and indignant, Zelda and her husband appealed against the decision twice, and lost. For nearly two years, they educated her at home. In the end, however, Chloe's desire to be back in a school environment led her parents to send her to the special school.

"Are they saying that it's in children's best interests to be separated from their friends?" asks Mrs McCollum. "Why does specialist support have to be segregated? It makes me so sad to think we can't plan for the future, for our child to be together with other young people in our community. I'd like Chloe to be respected no matter what her abilities. I don't want to live in a competitive world where league tables dictate who goes to a school and who doesn't."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now