Disabled children struggle for opportunities in mainstream school

One quarter of disabled children are discriminated against and
struggle to get the same opportunities as their non-disabled
counterparts in mainstream schools, according to research published
this week.

The NOP survey of 305 disabled 16-24 year olds, funded by the
Disability Rights Commission, finds that more than a thrid felt
they did not get the help and support they needed from teachers and
other staff, and one fifth said they had been discouraged from
taking GCSEs.

“Not encouraging young people is not acceptable,” said a
spokesperson for the National Union of Teachers. “Schools need to
ensure that there are systems and policies in place to ensure
disabled children’s needs are met.”

Just over a quarter of the young people surveyed didn’t go to
further or higher education. Of these, 30 per cent said they would
have liked to but felt they’d been prevented from going by a reason
relating to their disability or health problem.

“Disabled children are not getting the opportunity that they
deserve,” said Philippa Russell, director of the council of
disabled children. “We should be much more ambitious in our
policies towards them.”

Chairperson of the DRC Bert Massie said that, despite the
Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, some schools
were still not facing up to their responsibilities, with the DRC
helpline taking more than 800 calls on education issues since the
act came into force in September.

– Education for all: Getting in, getting on or getting
from www.drc-gb.org/drc





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