Kelly has the power to affect policy

19th January 2007 at 00:00
Ruth Kelly's decision to educate her son privately raises important issues.

Most parents of a child with learning difficulties are not able to send their child to a private school and probably do not want to.

Many thousands of parents have argued for better provision and have been ignored. They are not in the position that Ms Kelly is in to change state education to ensure that the appropriate provision is made.

What has she done to make the necessary changes? What will her son get that other parents cannot get for their children? Why is she not making every effort to make sure all children have this provision?

The key issue is that understanding how to identify and provide for pupils with special needs is not part of initial teacher training. It ought to be.

All teachers work with special needs pupils, but many children do not get the support they need, so their education suffers. This should be Ms Kelly's concern as a parent and a minister, and she should do something about it.

Melian Mansfield

Chair of the Campaign for State Education (CASE),


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