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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

1 From ‘ineducable’ to ‘included’

You have followed the story of Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Lee in previous sessions. Watch the video below (which you first watched in Session 2), where Phil Lee talks about his sister’s education.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2
Skip transcript: Video 2

Transcript: Video 2

PHILL
So Bernadette got to school age, and there was nothing. And I-- I remember my father fighting long and hard to get something for her to the extent-- and constantly getting rebuffed to the extent that when it came round to rates time, he went up to the town hall. And he put the money on the desk and said, there's my rates. And I've deducted the education bit because you won't educate my daughter. Eventually, Bernadette got into a training centre. And that was-- that was what was accepted then, and Bernadette loved that, and it was-- but it wasn't really preparing her for later life. It was, you know, keeping her occupied.
End transcript: Video 2
Video 2
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Phil’s highly charged interview reflects the historical injustice that people with learning disabilities have faced in terms of getting an education. In the UK, for much of the 20th century, children assessed as having an IQ under 50 were deemed to be ‘ineducable’. Their families received a certificate confirming this, which meant that they could legally be denied an education.

Click through the slides in Slideshow 1 to see how this gradually changed in the UK from 1970 following the passing of the Education (Handicapped Children) Act.

Active content not displayed. This content requires JavaScript to be enabled.
Slideshow 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Activity 2 Where children are schooled

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

What proportion of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) do you think are educated in state-funded mainstream primary and secondary schools in England?

a. 

a) 75-100%


b. 

b) 50-75%


c. 

c) 25-50%


The correct answer is c.

Answer

The data for England collected in 2017 showed that 48% of students with SEND were being educated in state-funded mainstream schools. 44% were educated in maintained special schools. The other 8% were being educated in a mix of independent schools, non-maintained special schools or Pupil Referral Units. Interestingly, this is quite a different picture to Scotland, which has a stronger policy commitment to inclusion. In Scotland, over 90% of children with Additional Support Needs (ASN) are educated in mainstream schools (Scottish Government, 2018), although a proportion of these are schooled in special units on the main site. However, due to differences in how ‘SEND’ and ‘ASN’ are defined, it can be difficult to compare figures.

(Source: Department for Education, 2017)

You may have been surprised to learn that despite the national and international policy commitments to inclusive education, less than half of children with SEND actually attend a mainstream school.

LD_1

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371