Saga of inclusion for all continues

20th March 2009 at 00:00

Your article, "You can't pick and choose on disabled rights, campaigners tell ministers" (February 27) once again raises the saga of the inclusion of all children into mainstream schools.

We had thought this debate from the 1980s and 1990s had ended with an acceptance that inclusion was not about a place, but equality of opportunity for all.

In the past 10 years we have seen a positive way forward in reducing the barriers between education sectors: the rise in the number of mainstream schools that have gained a secondary specialism for SEN and the growth of co-located mainstream and special schools offering inclusive provision for all pupils.

All pupils must have the same access to schools and support services, but for some this may mean access to specialist schools and services that can best meet their needs.

This is not about a "lack of ambition". It is a realistic vision for those who are most vulnerable.

Mick Brookes, General secretary, National Association of Head Teachers, and Lorraine Petersen, Chief executive officer, NASEN.

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