The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) is concerned that disabled people’s rights to be supported within mainstream education will be suspended for up to two years under the Coronavirus Bill. The Government wants to suspend various rights disabled people have under current legislation.
They are very concerned that:
- Disabled children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) support could have that support withdrawn, reduced, removed or not replaced if current staff is needed elsewhere by the National Health Service England (NHSE) or even special schools;
- Disabled children with EHCP could be transferred into special schools so that Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision can be pooled as fewer schools are open. Local authorities and schools will not have the funding to pay for additional staff if existing staff are in self-isolation or ill.
- Disabled children with EHCP could be left without a school placement, particularly a mainstream school placement.
- Disabled young people may not get the education, health and care support they require to flourish in mainstream education. The threshold will be lowered so that disabled people will only get support to meet the basic needs of being dressed, fed and showered.
- If these changes to the Care Act go through disabled children and people in education may not get the support they require because education is unlikely to be considered a basic need to aid survival.
ALLFIE believes that it is totally unacceptable that the rights of disabled people, the only group of people with protected characteristic rights under the Equality Act, will be suspended. For many disabled pupils and students, the education, health and care provision required is necessary to support both their emotional and physical wellbeing. Many of the health and social care practitioners are undertaking tasks that will help to maintain stable health, including reducing the risk of developing infections and viruses.
The education and care provisions in the Coronavirus Bill are an attack on disabled people’s human rights to education, health and care.
Click here to view ALLFIE’s briefing on the pandemic
To read their magazine click here
And to find out more about The Alliance for Inclusive Education please click here.
And here is an audio transcription for easier access to the Blog (voice of Helen Lupton aka Mrs Crippen)