One size does not fit all

18th March 2005 at 00:00
What surprises me most about the controversy over Maria Hutchings and her autistic son is that Mr Blair does not have more parents of children with special needs banging at his door.

In recent years the Government has embarked on a programme of inclusion which appears to run contrary to the wishes of many parents, and does not sufficiently allow for the diverse educational needs of all children who experience barriers to learning and participation. It is imperative to recognise that "one size does not fit all" in education.

The problem is compounded by the attitude of sections of the inclusion lobby in the UK calling for an amendment to be made to Article 17 of the draft United Nations Disability Convention that would remove the right to choice in education from the convention. As advocates for children who experience the most complex barriers to learning and participation, we fully uphold draft Article 17 (Education).

Our pupils function cognitively at the same level as a six to 12-month-old baby. They need adults to help them gain access to a specially tailored curriculum. Full integration within a mainstream curriculum would not enhance their learning, and would surely fail to allow them to develop their potential.

JE Cunningham

Headteacher

St Margaret's school

The Children's Trust

Tadworth Court

Tadworth, Surrey

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