Michael Gove's Bibles for schools 'ignore needs of disabled students'
Education secretary criticised by special schools over £375,000 distribution of copies of King James Bible.
It has been criticised by non-religious groups, branded a "vanity project" and called a waste of hundreds of thousands of pounds, but now Michael Gove's move to send a Bible to every state-funded primary and secondary school in England has new critics: special schools.
According to the website Political Scrapbook, there have been complaints that the Bibles have been sent out to schools with no consideration of the needs of disabled students. Critics argue that schools with children who have visual impairments and dexterity problems are finding the Bibles impossible to use.
A source told the website that the entire project was a mistake. "The small print means students with sight problems can't read it, while the thin paper rules it out for many students with physical disabilities. Why didn't they consult with special schools?"
In his covering letter to headteachers, the education secretary wrote: "I believe it is important that all pupils … should appreciate this icon, and its impact on our language and democracy." But the materials provided with the Bibles – which cost £370,000 to send to schools – made no reference to accessibility or special educational needs.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said the department was supporting Dyslexia Action and the Royal National Institute of Blind People to develop a service providing digital versions of texts so schools could adapt them for use by making the print larger, changing colours of text or backgrounds for dyslexic pupils, or changing them to audio files.
Read more ... (The Guardian - 7 June)