Listen to us, say disabled youngsters

6th April 2007 at 01:00
PARENTS of disabled pupils have given Scottish schools a more positive testimonial than their counterparts in England and Wales, but this may be because they know less about their rights.

A new study, by a team of researchers at Birmingham Uni-versity, also found that disabled youngsters have clear views on their future, which should be taken into greater consideration.

My School, My Family, My Life: Telling it like it is in Scotland was funded by the Disability Rights Commission, with the aim of examining the realities of life for disabled pupils. The research was prompted by the changes introduced by the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, which replaced records of needs with co-ordinated support plans and the concept of special educational needs with additional support needs.

Parental satisfaction with schools was found to be generally good in Scotland. Fewer parents in Scotland, than in England and Wales, had sought changes to improve education for their children, indicating satisfaction.

However, linked with low awareness of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the researchers felt that could be because parents did not know about the reforms.

Teachers did not emerge unscathed, as 31 per cent of parents suggested any difficulties were with attitudes and understanding and a lack of support in the school. Some said teachers simply did not understand certain conditions, such as autism.

Another key finding was that the views of young people should be taken more seriously.

The report said: "We have been repeatedly impressed by the knowledge shown by the children and young people. They have increased our commitment to taking their views seriously."

At the launch of the report in Edinburgh last week by the Disability Rights Commission, Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, said creating educational opportunities for disabled youngsters was not about being "nice". It was their right.

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