Wednesday, 29 June 2011

School league tables and special needs

Quite sometime back, I was listening to a radio programme where they were talking about kids with special needs being excluded from schools (especially the new academies) either by expulsion or refused admissions. There have been several cases in the past (we have faced this discrimination ourselves) but apparently the trend is increasing.

It was really sad and it's quite understandable because like Universities, national rankings does matter. And academic achievement is the main (maybe the only) criteria by which schools are judged. So whether they are very inclusive and special need friendly does not count at all.

However, by doing so many of these schools are actually forgetting about the basic right to education for every child. Do they even care about education?

Maybe there is a need to review the present ranking system so that academic achievement is not the sole criteria by which the schools are rated. I would definitely look at things like the diversity of the schools in terms of staff and students and special points for inclusiveness (for having children with learning problems including autism). Only then would schools start changing their policies.

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