Letter: Teachers' lore

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The Independent Online
"EDUCATIONAL apartheid", far from lurking around the corner, is maintained and celebrated by all, save one or two, local education authorities throughout the UK. It is a system perniciously perpetuated by this increasingly elitist Labour government, under the flag of "standard raising".

Take the continued compulsory segregation of disabled children, isolated from siblings and friends, local mainstream schools and communities. This common practice is increasingly challenged by disabled people, parents and professionals. Surely, if we are to learn anything from the practice of apartheid in South Africa or ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, it is that such practice is not restricted to particular countries, governments or peoples. Such divisions become institutionalised practice; they can manifest in many different forms. We have to understand and challenge the root causes, one of which has to be the failure to acknowledge, value and celebrate difference.

By continuing to prevent disabled children from working with, learning with and being with their non-disabled peers, we sow the seeds of fear and distrust, with far more damaging consequences than a school's rating on national league tables.


Bolton, Lancashire