Throwing cash at the problem

28th October 2005 at 01:00
I was dismayed that Gary Thomas resorts to reducing inclusion to a matter of cash. ("Of course inclusion without cash will be disastrous", Special Needs supplement, TES, October 14 ).

Those of us at the cutting edge know that although funding is vital, inclusion will remain elusive without radical restructuring of the education system.

Professor Thomas suggests MPs put a question to local authorities concerning funding. Such a suggestion merely further submerges inclusion in the swamp of party politics and so will not help us move this important issue forward.

Professor Thomas should answer one simple question himself: how will the proposal of a national banding system based on something as vague as groups of "children with equivalent difficulties" do anything but exacerbate the "adhocracy" and inconsistency which bedevils special needs practitioners?

Surely it is such simplification of inclusion that led Lady Warnock and others to question what seems to be a policy of integration and not inclusion after all.

Ron Babbage


St John's school, Bedford Road, Kempston, Bedford

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