AS a leading disability organisation, Scope supports the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream education and their right to be educated alongside their peers. Not only does mainstream education make a big difference to children's development, but it also increases understanding and awareness among their classmates.
However, Scope recognises the role of special schools which, for some disabled children, will be the most desirable option. Therefore, until mainstream education is able to meet all children's needs, Scope supports young people who choose special school education. Scope also wants to emphasise that teachers face different challenges in dealing with the needs of children with emotional and behavioural problems. Although not all mainstream schools are currently fully accessible to disabled children, there is funding available from the Schools Access Initiative that Scope would urge them to take advantage of, along with the range of materials that is available to support the SEN and Disability Act 2001.
By building on good inclusive practice that already exists, disabled children, their classmates, and their teachers will be able to enjoy the benefits - that can be experienced by the whole school - coming from a positive attitude to inclusion.
Policy and research officer
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