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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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Session 4: Education


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Education for everyone – including people with learning disabilities – is a fundamental human right. In the UK, like many other countries around the world – the right to an education is enshrined in law. But people with learning disabilities have not always had this right. And many families would argue that they are still fighting for a quality education for their children.

Today, children with learning disabilities are educated either in inclusive schools (sometimes described as ‘mainstream’ schools) or special schools. Inclusive schools provide education to pupils of all needs and abilities. Special schools provide education only to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. As you will learn in this session, some people believe passionately in promoting inclusive education, whereas other people feel strongly that there continues to be a need for special schools.

In this session you will explore:

  • the history of education for people with learning disabilities
  • the benefits and challenges of delivering inclusive education
  • the role of special schools
  • the experiences of the education system for people with learning disabilities.

Before you start, first answer the question in the activity below.

Activity 1 What’s fair?

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Click the link below to answer the poll on how you think the country’s education budget should be spent.

Link: Deciding how to use the country’s education budget [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Once you have submitted your choice you can then see how others have voted.

You will return to this question at the end of the session to see if your views have changed whilst studying the course.