THE TES Review of the Year (December 24) covered most of the key education stories of the past year. However, like many other recent annual reviews it failed to include the momentous changes that were announced in 1999 for disabled school children.
Following the Queen's speech and the publication of the Disability Rights Taskforce Report, Education Secretary David Blunkett promised new rights for disabled pupils to ensure they are treated fairly by schools and local education authorities. The omission of this announcement in annual reviews may reflect a marginalisation of special education in the news, bt these new rights will mean that disabled children's needs will no longer be marginalised in schools.
Disabled children will have legal protection against discrimination and this will mean that teachers, school-heads and governors will need to make sure they are fully prepared to meet the needs of disabled children. This should result in a dramatic improvement in the quality of education for disabled children in mainstream education. Surely this is worth mentioning in millennium reviews and celebrations!
Head of public affairs
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