"The immediate halt announced by the Conservatives of both the closure
of special needs schools and the automatic presumption of placing
special needs children in main steam schools will be a great relief to
parents in Staffordshire" says Michael Fabricant. "Staffordshire
County Council and councils across the west midlands have had to
announce the restructuring and closure of special needs schools to meet
Government objectives. And both children and parents at schools like
Queens Croft in Lichfield have expressed their alarm at having their
children being forced to enter mainstream schools and face bullying and
other difficulties. The proposals announced today, 7th March, will put
an end to that.
"And too many parents have had to face too many sacrifices to send their
dyslexic children, for example, to excellent schools like Maple Hayes in
Lichfield which enjoys a national reputation. These reforms will
address that problem. The first actions of a Conservative Government
will be to improve the choice of school for parents; end the presumption
in favour of mainstream schools for SEN children; provide better
information and guidance for parents and teachers; and impose a
moratorium on the closure of special schools.
"Special educational needs is a difficult and complex area and I
recognise there is no quick fix or simple solution to the problems of
SEN today. SEN covers a wide and growing range of conditions. In 1981,
when the Education Act was passed setting up the current system, autism
and dyslexia were barely known. Today, we recognise these conditions and
the importance of Emotional, Behavioural and Social Difficulties.
"The steps that were set out today will go some way towards easing the
problems that parents face, but the next Conservative Government will
understand the scale of the challenge, and we know that there will be
other issues to address too" adds Michael.
Photograph shows Michael Fabricant with students outside Maple Hayes
School in Lichfield which specialises in the education of children with