If I am completely honest, this isn’t something I ever really gave much thought to, until a few years ago, when the Labour government first announced their pledge ten years ago, I just thought why is it even an issue, of course every child should be given that right, I didn’t even understand why they wouldn’t.
A recent study regarding inclusion in schools, by a firm of solicitors showed 58% of people surveyed, agreed that inclusion works, which on the whole is true, but not if it affects the safety of others or the staff do not have the correct training to deal with individuals specific needs.
A few years ago our quiet little village school had a new addition to one of the classes, he seemed a pleasant enough chap to start with, however as the weeks went on, I began hearing stories from my child that the whole class were being taken out because of his violent temper and love of throwing things (mainly tables) around the classroom, it was the first time that I actually felt my daughter’s education and well being may be suffering. It went on for a couple of months, but eventually it was decided that the best thing for the child (and all of the other children) was that he no longer attended the school. I am not sure where he went, but I do hope that it was somewhere that the staff were better able to deal with his issues.
Fast forward a couple of years and I have my four year old who needs extra help, now the SEN Code of Practice states that each teacher needs to differentiate the curriculum to take into account the individual needs of each child, which sounds wonderful in an ideal world, but with a bare minimum amount of staff to take care of an entire class I can see this being troublesome.
I am very fortunate that the wonderful people working with my son are very experienced with his type of behaviour and cater for all of his needs, although I have read of many families where this is not the case.
Having worked within settings that are just for children with additional needs, I knew that this was not the place that my son needed to be and it certainly would not help him to progress.
The difference in him since he has started school is amazing, so being included in mainstream school is definitely the best option for him, and I hope it continues to stay that way.
*This is a collaboration post