Report By Louise and Patrick.
Photograph's by Louise.
Follow on from last week’s story in our series of articles, looking at the closure of BS, and the pros and cons of subject of integration.
AS early as 1792, the need for some segregation of the deaf taught in schools resulted in the foundation of Margate School in London - the first public institution for the education of deaf children. Since then deaf schools have become more widespread and operate within national teaching policy.
Now 211 years later, is seen a dramatic evaluation of policy with the intention of reintegrating these segregated sections into mainstream education, the intention being to help stamp out prejudice in the UK. This action will involve the reintegration of as many as possible of the deaf, blind and handicapped pupils from schools run by the LEA. Resistance to this policy is being shown by many of those whom the government seeks to integrate. Their fears are that all integration really means is a way of cost cutting and taking the pressure off an over stretched education system and their apprehension that this move could lead to all students suffering in their education. One ex-parent of a pupil who attended a specialized school said,
“The government is so tight. They only think about money, money, money but not an individual’s needs.”
The government’s opinion is that integration is the best idea for all students, the intention expressed being to
“Stop alienation of those with special needs”. Many people believe however, that forcing closure of specialist schools, could result in just such a consequence in such students’ later lives, if they fail to receive the very particular support they receive at present. The problem for some children who are deaf is that they cannot function, despite all best intentions, in mainstream education, all the time. Some of the severally deaf, in order to keep up, must be placed in specialist schools, in order to unlock their full potential. Without this option some students might lose the ability to learn and function at their best in future life. Despite this view, others with the best of intentions, are pushing a policy that will result in a move backwards and not forwards.
On 25 March 2002, the government announced “Improved facilities for pupils with disabilities across England.”
Pupils with disabilities are set to benefit from a new £70 million boost to improve facilities and access in mainstream
schools. The funding was given for a wide range of improvements such as; ramps, lifts and easy to open doors for children with mobility problems;.......
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