Children with disabilities illegally excluded from school
A new report reveals that many children with disabilities are being illegally excluded from school. Should Ofsted intervene?
Hannah Phillips lost count of the times her son James was excluded from primary school for disruptive behaviour. There were daily phone calls from staff, often asking her to take him home, and his three older siblings were fed up with being called out of class to deal with him. He was frequently placed in isolation, away from the classroom, and excluded from school trips and activities, says Phillips.
James has Down's syndrome and moderate learning difficulties. So what his teachers classed as disruptive behaviour, was actually "general excitement and joie de vivre", says his mother. With the right kind of help, she believes he could have progressed well in a mainstream school. But she was disappointed by the support that was offered. "The attitude seemed to be: 'We don't really want him here, but we have to take him because the education system says we have to take children with special needs.'"
Julie Sheppard also found herself making frequent trips to her school to collect her son Logan – who has autistic spectrum disorders – because staff said his behaviour was unmanageable.For Sheppard, the multiple trips back and forth to the school became too much. "I remember ringing my mum in tears, saying: 'I can't keep doing this'," she says.
Read more ... (The Guardian - 18 February)