Children with special educational needs face discrimination in the education system, according to David Mallen, outgoing education director for East Sussex. In a speech last month, he said "Race is not the only form of discrimination. We are looking at the discrimination prevalent in our society against children and adults with special needs or disabilities.
"We have much greater inclusion in our schools. But we are still not at the position where the choice is always the choice of parents and children. The choice is usually the mainstream school's - not necessarily by refusing entry, which is illegal, but the language and body language can be discouraging - references to not having sufficient resources, or the school down the road being much more experienced and better at dealing with your child's disability than we are. That is frankly unacceptable.
"We need to make sure that unless it really is impossible, the school meets the parents' wishes."