Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Disabled Children to be refused right to education

Every Disabled Child Matters, campaign group for the rights of disabled children has come across a recent proposal to cut down on the obligations of local authorites to provide services such as:
  • " receive social care support such as short breaks (respite) and childcare;
  • positive activities in the community;
  • equal access to education; and
  • school transport."
These proposals mean that, mere months after David Cameron repeated his promise that things would not get worse for disabled children, children could be denied access to school and their families the essential respite they need to survive with the 24/7 demands of a child with special needs.

The idea is that parents will be given more money to organise care and schooling themselves , "Dr Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, warned that government cuts had already led to specialists being made redundant." including vital staff like Speech and Language Therapists and Educational Psychologists who are trained to offer children with special needs the best chance of making the most of their educations and therefore the best possible future prospects.

Acces to education is a human right under Article 26 of the Declaration of Human Rights, and without the legal compulsion that oblidges state schools to accept children with special needs and make any adjustments required to accomodate them this will not be fulfilled. David Cameron is attempting to side step this requirement by making it the parents responsibility to find education for their child (and a little cash to do it with) and if education is not available to start their own 'free schools' to provide this.

So, somehow, whilst coping with the hugely physically and mentally demanding job of caring for a child with special needs - and with no time off, as somehow, you are supposed to organise your own Respite care - despite the fact that facilities that offer this are almost all state run and funded and according to the whim of your local government may or may not exist - and with no wages, experience or in most cases, piles of money to back you up, find an accessible building, hire or buy it, hire staff, carry out complex risk and safety assesments, find other children whose needs are compatible with your child's, get their parents to agree, organise accessible transport, find and apply for grants that might pay for all these things...

It's an impossible task dressed up as the big society.

The result will be children with no access to education.

Families with no access to respite giving up their children to social services in sheer desperation.

This consultation asks what duty local governments should have to provide, and the idea that access to education a fundamental human right, or respite, should be knocked off the list in favour of, say, street cleaning is utter madness.


Please, please contact your MP and David Cameron ( Or: and let them know that this WILL NOT improve the lives of disabled children - it will make their lives, and those of their familes that much more difficult.

RT: UK Disabled Children to be denied right to go to school #care4carers

Disabled familes losing right to respite #care4carers

On May 11th 2011 UK Disabled People's Charity will be spearheading a protest at the houses of parliment to highlight the fact that disabled people are those hardest hit by cuts. Please join us!

1 comment:

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