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School academisation threat to Disabled children

06 May 2021

Education Minister Gavin Williamson has announced he wants to see an ‘end to pick and mix’ and see more schools become academies and part of Multi-Academy Trusts.

The move is of concern to parents of Disabled children given the statistics on the number of children ‘off-rolled’ (where children leave schools without being excluded) and excluded from academies compared to schools under Local Authority control.

DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “Children deemed difficult, or those less likely to obtain high academic grades, are often in need of extra support due to hidden, neurological  and behavioural Disabilities such as ADHD and autism spectrum conditions.

“Exclusions happen to the detriment of children’s emotional and educational wellbeing. Rather than focusing on eradicating a ‘pick and mix’ system which gives parents greater choice, the Minister should focus on creating a culture of person-centred inclusive education which embraces diversity and choice. He would do well to remember that schools are there to serve children – all children – regardless of ability, background, or need.”