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Mainstream Education - How long since it became a legal right?

(11 Posts)
TessOfTheDinnerbells Thu 20-Oct-11 13:57:58

I'm fairly sure that somebody mentioned it being either 10 or 11 years since the laws changed to allow disabled children a legal right to a mainstream education. Is this right?

If it really has been 10 or 11 years, then next year will see the first children going into highschool that may possibly have had a mainstream education all the way through.

Has there been enough of a culture change? Is there a difference in staff culture in MS Primary v MS High? Have we really had more than ten years of statementing battles?

For those that have been part of this battle all the way.
CHEERS & THANK YOU! [flowers] wine

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 20-Oct-11 14:36:50

just had a quick google to check, interesting life that I have grin Statements have been around since the 1981 Education Act which saw a lot of children move from ss to ms but the legal right to ms was in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, which came into force on 1 September 2002. So actually we've had 30 years of statement battles [shudder]

my mum was teaching in a ss at the time statements were introduced and I remember her being really pleased about the change, shame that didn't last!

Aliceinboots Thu 20-Oct-11 15:20:12

Does this mean you can insist your SN's child attends mainsteam? I have a 3 yr old (starts Reception 2012) with severe speech delay and suspected social communication disorder so I'm very interested in this.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 20-Oct-11 15:34:18

alice, have a read here

Pagwatch Thu 20-Oct-11 15:40:16

Anything that supports parents suits me.

But you would take my son out of his special school over my dead body.

Parental choice should be paramount.
But I'm with Pagwatch.. my son has been in SS since he was four, supported and loved and I shudder to think how he would have coped in mainstream. I would not want a system that forced all children to be integrated regardless, because while it works for some, for others it would be 11+ years of educational hell!

Also sometimes there are cases when parents..with the best will..choose mainstream unwisely. I work in SS and we have had children come to us who simply should never have entered mainstream school because their needs could never have been met, and the families are very demoralised by the time they come to us.

Choice would be the real triumph !

TessOfTheDinnerbells Thu 20-Oct-11 17:40:24

Yes, so the 10 year anniversary is actually 1st September 2012. Wonder if any LEA's will be publicising and celebrating?

For me it's about the right of CHOICE. Parent/child choice NOT school/LEA choice.

And those children starting high school next September will be among the FIRST children to have legally been entitled to a mainstream education the whole way through. WORTH NOTIFYING THE PRESS - Get out the bunting - we want our own street party at DOWNING STREET!!!

TessOfTheDinnerbells Thu 20-Oct-11 17:42:10

FWIW - I have stuck with MS and never been let down. But are high schools prepared for the numbers & the culture change needed NOW?

TessOfTheDinnerbells Thu 20-Oct-11 17:44:07

NinjaGoose: Just checked that link and it states the year as 2001...?

Lougle Thu 20-Oct-11 17:44:52

I am with Pag and Medusa. The worrying thing from my point of view is that the proportion of SLD and PMLD categorised children is rising, and the result is that many children with an MLD classification (which I personally think is perceived to be a 'mild' classification by joe public, despite it being quite disabling) are pushed into mainstream schools which are no more equipped to cater for their needs than they were before.

DD1 is thriving in SS. She is important, able amongst her peers. She is given responsibility, such as going to get the register from the office, because they can. They have CCTV and radio link. They can see exactly where a child has escaped to, and the site is secure, so the risk is greatly reduced.

Things that would be 'therapy' at mainstream school are 'class' at SS. School trips aren't things like 'visit the mosque' they're 'go to the shops to buy ingredients for pizza', 'go to a cafe for a drink and biscuit'.

The expertise that these schools have is phenomenal, because they live and breathe SN. They don't have 1 'special' child every 3 years, or even 3 per year. They have 105, with everything ranging from PMLD with sensory loss, to walking, talking but complex needs.

TessOfTheDinnerbells Thu 20-Oct-11 17:52:02

Yes, I agree that SS are fantastic and huge amounts of families benefit from their expertise. Many really wouldn't be suited to MS and they have that choice.

But, often, in cases where a child may have HFA or similar, they need to experience a mainstream life because when they reach adult services there will be little other than mainstream or voluntary sector for them. 10years ago, they wouldn't have had that choice and would have been caught in the middle at the mercy of others.

So the celebration should be about choice and accepting that BOTH are necessary and even that some families may wish to start with one and then move to the other. It's not set in stone but flexible for different stages of development / need.

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