The Big Question

Will disadvantaged children in the school system be safe in the government’s hands?

Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic sons
I feel that schools should have control over admissions, not local education authorities. My autistic son Jacob had to be home educated for a year when Essex LEA refused to provide transport to school, even though the school said he should get it.  The government understands the need to limit LEAs’ power.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
The only way forward is for local councils to have the power to vet school admissions procedures because all children deserve equal opportunities. Children also need to receive the necessary levels of support once they are in school.
We currently only pay lip-service to this because so many schools depend on government for their funding.

Len Smith  – Gypsy activist
Ruth Kelly has now conceded that admissions codes should be made more stringent, but I wonder if they really will be. I think it probably depends on the political pressures that are applied when the crunch comes and the schools bill is voted on. I would like to think that disadvantage will be eliminated, but I’m not confident.

Richard West – Inspired Services
I am always worried about children with a learning difficulty in a situation where impossible standards are set. It means that many will not be able to keep up with their peers or pass exams, even if they are allowed to go to the same schools as others. Children with learning difficulties are always the first group that schools don’t want.


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