Education is for Everyone Unless You are Special

Giovanni Tiso and Hilary Stace (PDF):

When meeting with the parents of a prospective student with a learning disability or other impairments, a school principal has a range of options. If the child comes from outside the school’s zone, they can refuse admission outright, or make it subject to the school’s special enrolment conditions. Otherwise, the Education Act 1989 gives disabled children the same access to compulsory education as others. The question then becomes: how inclusive should the school be? A school not wishing to burden itself with children with disabilities can adopt a soft approach. The principal can, for instance, be less than totally welcoming at the pre-enrolment interview, or complain about the lack of funding, or praise the great work that the school down the road does in this area, or point to a drab, uninviting special room. Parents of children with special needs are quick to pick up on these signals and will look elsewhere.