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Education, disability and social policy

Education, disability and social policy

Steve Haines
David Ruebain
Copyright Date: 2011
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  • Book Info
    Education, disability and social policy
    Book Description:

    Disability is an increasingly vital contemporary issue in British social policy especially in education. Education, disability and social policy brings together for the first time unique perspectives from leading thinkers including senior academics, opinion formers, policy makers and school leaders. Key issues covered include: law and international human rights frameworks; policy developments for schools and school leaders; educational inequalities for disabled children and young people and curriculum design and qualifications changes for children who are being failed by the current education system. The book is a milestone in social policy studies, of enduring interest to students, academics, policy makers, parents and campaigners alike.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-338-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. iv-iv)
  4. Author biographies
    (pp. v-x)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-xi)
    Patrick Diamond and Len Barton
  6. Foreword
    (pp. xii-xiv)
    Lady Hale

    Please do not see this as a book that is just for the specialists – activists in the field of disability education talking to activists in the field of disability education – but as a book for anyone who cares about young people and about putting into practice the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and later instruments such as the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ratified by the United Kingdom in 2009).

    Article 1 of the Universal Declaration famously declares that...

  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    David Ruebain and Steve Haines

    This book considers the progress that has been made since the 1980s in educational provision in the UK for disabled students, including children and young people in schools and adults in higher education. The authors, drawn from a range of pedagogic, professional and activist backgrounds, consider the advances, challenges and difficulties that make up the current experience of disabled students and look to the future of what might come next in the pursuit of greater educational opportunities.

    As editors, our own starting point is to consider these issues through the perspective of the social model of disability; a model theorists...

  8. ONE Disability and education in historical perspective
    (pp. 7-22)
    Anne Borsay

    The human rights agenda, broadly defined, promotes health and well-being by upholding ‘opportunity and choice, freedom of speech, respect for individuality and an acceptance of difference in all spheres of life’ (Armstrong and Barton, 1999, p 211). For disabled people, the realisation of these aspirations is an inclusive society, where the economic, political, ideological, social and cultural barriers that underpin inequality and discrimination are dismantled. The purpose of this chapter is to assess the historical development of education for disabled children against the human rights yardstick, focusing on Britain between the late 18th century and the early 1980s. Three main...

  9. TWO Complex needs, divergent frameworks: challenges disabled children face in accessing appropriate support services and inclusive educational opportunities
    (pp. 23-46)
    Cherie Booth, Marc Bush and Ruth Scott

    In May 2010, the new Coalition government published itsProgramme for Government(HM Government, 2010). In it, the government states that it will ‘prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools, and remove the bias towards inclusion’ (p 29). This claim is based on two core beliefs; first, that the previous government’s decision to close special schools was unnecessary; and, second, that the outgoing administration had created, in policy and practice, a bias towards mainstream education.

    During the 2010 election campaign these two policy assumptions were placed in the lap of the Prime Minister-to-be, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP. Whilst...

  10. THREE From SEN to Sen: could the ‘capabilities’ approach transform the educational opportunities of disabled children?
    (pp. 47-64)
    Neil Crowther

    The philosophy of inclusive education is based upon recognition of education as an inalienable human right. Yet the UK falls considerably short of delivering this right in practice to disabled children and children with learning difficulties.

    Despite progress, in 2010 disabled children continued to face profound inequalities in relation to their access to, participation in and outcomes from our education system. The costs of this disadvantage to the individuals concerned, their families and to society as a whole are enormous.

    In the 30 years since the Warnock Report initiated the drive towards inclusive education, a succession of Acts of Parliament...

  11. FOUR Multi-agency working and disabled children and young people: from ‘what works’ to ‘active becoming’
    (pp. 65-88)
    Liz Todd

    This chapter considers the assumptions and implications of policy developments in multi-agency working over at least the last 30 years for the support of disabled children and young people. I look at three policy strands: post-Warnock statutory special educational needs (SEN) assessment; inclusive education; and the Every Child Matters agenda. My focus is on education, and although the actual policies referred to would vary in other contexts, the overall argument will, I claim, apply to all. There has been a constantly renewed call to improve multiagency working and, more recently, for far-reaching structural changes to integrate services. However, it is...

  12. FIVE Disabled children’s ‘voice’ and experiences
    (pp. 89-104)
    Ann Lewis

    ‘Voice’ matters, not primarily for legal, rights or procedural reasons, but because it connects with a fundamental human urge to communicate the narratives of our lives and in so doing foster understanding and compassion. This chapter is written from the underlying perspective that all children,¹ with or without disabilities or special needs,² have a right to have their views (narratives) heard and to be asked about matters concerning them. Progress in consulting with disabled children has lagged behind that of formally seeking children’s views more generally. This was recognised by Morris (2003) and Gray (2002), who noted the paucity of...

  13. SIX Building brighter futures for all our children: education, disability, social policy and the family
    (pp. 105-130)
    Philippa Russell

    [We are] setting out an ambitious programme of action that will bring disabled people fully within the scope of the ‘opportunity society’. By 2025, disabled people in Britain should have full opportunities and choices to improve their quality of life and to be respected and included as equal members of society. (Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, 2005)

    Our aim is to make this the best place in the world for our children and young people to grow up…. Families are the bedrock of society and the place for nurturing happy, capable and resilient citizens. In our consultation, families made it clear...

  14. SEVEN Access to higher education for disabled students: a policy success story?
    (pp. 131-146)
    Sheila Riddell and Elisabet Weedon

    Viewed through a lens of optimism, the position of disabled people in higher education has been transformed over a very short period of time. As recently as the 1990s, disabled people were largely excluded from higher education, and those who were successful in gaining a place were offered no guarantee of support. While legislation passed in the early 1980s placed an obligation on local authorities to identify and address children’s special educational needs, it was not until the passage of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) in 2001 that universities were placed under an obligation to avoid discrimination...

  15. EIGHT Meeting the standard but failing the test: children and young people with sensory impairments
    (pp. 147-160)
    Olga Miller, Rory Cobb and Paul Simpson

    This chapter takes as its focus issues around the relationship between the assessment and attainment of those children and young people who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities arising from hearing, visual or multi-sensory impairments. In particular, the chapter examines some of the implications of a system of assessment in England that pulls in two opposing directions. This is exemplified in the framework of government policy put in place by the Labour administration through the Every Child Matters agenda (ECM), which stresses entitlement for all children and young people to universal services, against the thrust of other policies that...

  16. NINE Heading for inclusion: a head teacher’s journey towards an inclusive school
    (pp. 161-176)
    Nigel Utton

    While both humanization and dehumanization are real alternatives, only the first is man’s vocation. This vocation is constantly negated, yet it is affirmed by that very negation. It is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression, and the violence of the oppressors; it is affirmed by the yearning of the oppressed for freedom and justice, and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity. (Freire, 1972, p 20)

    The Inclusion Movement is probably the most radical political movement of our time. Not merely a group of educationalists talking of including children in mainstream schooling (although we are that too), we are a...

  17. Suggested further reading
    (pp. 177-180)
  18. Index
    (pp. 181-191)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 192-192)