There was widespread media coverage when Baroness Warnock stated the policy of inclusion had left a ‘disastrous legacy’ which prompted many of us in the inclusion movement to worry that the government may be considering a review of its inclusion policy.
However in their response, the Government has restated its commitment to inclusion. The response states: ‘The Government shares the Committee’s view that inclusion is about the quality of a child’s experience and providing access to a high quality education which enables them to make progress in their learning and participate fully in the activities of their school and community…we want local authorities and schools to work together to build provision in mainstream schools so that over time a mainstream place is a viable option for all parents who wish their children to be taught in such a setting.’
Unfortunately the Government’s response does give a mixed message as it also states ‘ the Government sees a vital and continuing role for special schools as part of an inclusive education system,’
This response from the Government will do nothing to allay the fears of either the inclusion movement nor the ‘special schools’ lobby. This debate looks set to run and run.