Friday, March 16, 2007

Inclusion Dogma Seductive but Harmful for Some Autistic Students




UK MP Lee Scott has criticized the UK government for placing politically correct inclusion dogma ahead of the needs of autistic school children. While inclusion sounds good it hasn't always helped some autistic school children or their classmates.

"Autism needs debated at Westminster

By Sam Adams

A REDBRIDGE MP has criticised the Government for putting political correctness' before the needs of autistic children.

Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, secured a special parliamentary debate at Westminster last week, calling for the creation of more special schools, three of which currently exist in Redbridge.

The MP believes the Government's focus on educational inclusiveness' has left many youngsters with the condition struggling in mainstream schools when they would develop more effectively in special schools.

He said: "The dogmatic approach of placing all pupils with special needs in mainstream schools has frequently benefited neither them or the children whom they are educated alongside.

"Many of us have at some time been seduced by the theory of inclusion which seems so nice and reasonable and politically correct, but there is clear evidence that it does not work for every autistic child.
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The MP criticised the Government for closing down some special schools, and claimed many mainstream schools are unable to provide the learning support needed by autistic youngsters.

He said: "We have seen seven per cent of special schools closed down since 1997 and in a recent report 44 per cent of teachers in local comprehensives admitted they weren't confident in teaching kids with autism."

The MP praised the work of the borough's current special schools, Hatton School in Clayhall, Newbridge School in Ilford and New Rush Hall School, Hainault, but said provision needed to be expanded further.

Replying for the Government, the Minister for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning Bill Rammell said: "I genuinely welcome this debate and the efforts that the hon. Member for Ilford North has made to bring these important issues to the public's attention."


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1 comment:

Auti World said...

NEWS REPORT ON PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE ON AUTISM IN THE UK:

http://www.bloggernews.net/15280

(London, UK) A huge momentum is building up as a result of the landmark debate on autism held in Westminster Hall on 7th March.The debate was initiated by the British parliamentarian Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North. Parliamentarians of all parties are now calling on the British Government to act decisively on autism.

Speaking in Westminster Hall, Lee Scott MP said: “The dogmatic approach of placing all pupils with special needs in mainstream schools has frequently benefited neither them or the children whom they are educated alongside.

“Many of us have at some time been seduced by the theory of inclusion which seems so nice and reasonable and politically correct, but there is clear evidence that it does not work for every autistic child,” said Lee Scott.

Among those who supported this important debate was the Former Leader of the Opposition Iain Duncan-Smith MP and the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Minister Hazel Blears, the Labour MP Stephen Pound.

The debate was called for by Ivan Corea of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK. Ivan and Charika Corea have a 11 year old son Charin who has autism spectrum disorder. The couple have campaigned long and hard for public services for all people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Ivan Corea, speaking in London said: ‘I welcome the debate initiated by Lee Scott MP in Westminster. He had the courage of his convictions to stand up in parliament and speak out on autism. He has started an unstoppable movement for radical change. The debate is now regarded as one of the most important debates on autism by MPs of all parties who are now calling for action and a long term strategy to support parents, carers and people with autism,’ he noted.

Autism affects around 587,000 people in the UK according to the National Autistic Society.

Autism may affect upto one in 100 children in the United Kingdom - the condition is now more common in the UK.

The Autism Awareness Campaign UK are calling on the on Government to undertake a 10 year program of building specialist autism schools, building autism units in mainstream primary and secondary schools, tackle the failure of some secondary schools in bringing in educational strategies to deal with autistic children in a mainstream setting, access to further education and higher education, labour market opportunities for people with autism and to tackle the whole question of bullying and autistic children, the provision of recreational activities for autistic children are among the issues they wish the Prime Minister Tony Blair to address before he leaves office in the summer.
The Government tightened up guidelines where the closure schools were concerned, a day after the major autism debate in the UK Parliament. Lee Scott MP had called for an end to the closure of special schools.

Parliamentarians, charities, voluntary sector organisations, parent groups and community groups are now pressing the government to launch a 10 year program covering the recommendations called for by the Autism Awareness Campaign UK.

To read the UK parliamentary debate on autism please access the link:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2007-03-07a.497.0&s=speaker%3