Inclusion Now Articles Issue 9
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All Our Children Belong - New report from Pi
Exploring the experiences of black and minority ethnic parents
of disabled children
Beware the baubles - poem
The Time of Her Life - Book Review
Shh! Don't Break the Rules! - A parent's story
Not Quite There Yet - Michelle Daley talks about her school
NASUWT Opposes Inclusion
All Equal All Different & Disabling Imagery - Two New Resources
Stories for Inclusive Schools - Book review
News from Parents and Students Empowerment
CEN fighting exclusions - The Communities Empowerment Network
All our children belong
The launchof this report on 23rd March 2004 in Lambeth, London was marked by an extraordinary gathering of a 120 people - parents, disabled adults, disabled young people, from all communities, policy makers, politicians, church representatives, teachers, parents groups and community groups from the Black Police Association to Gingerbread.
Music from the local primary school steel band, forum theatre from the disabled people and parents, voices from around the circle of those gathered, painted a vivid picture and brought the powerful messages of this report to life.
In 2000 Parents for Inclusion encouraged a group of BME parents/carers
and BME disabled people to form a reference group and secured funding to employ
a co-ordinator for the group. Many members of the group had arrived at Parents
for Inclusion through months and even years of struggle and endeavour to make
their dreams of inclusion for their disabled children a reality. Many had
initially come in contact with Parents for Inclusion whilst seeking help and
support in order to secure suitable educational provision for their children,
or had attended Parents for Inclusion's Inclusion Groups in schools. Our reference
group soon began to see the difficulties and barriers that we were experiencing
could be placed within the wider context of the social exclusion of disabled
people. After the initial contact with Parents for Inclusion, many of us went
on to undertake Disability Equality Training, Planning Positive Futures workshops,
and so on. However, we became increasingly aware that our experience as BME
individuals was not reflected in Parents for Inclusion's predominately white
setting. The BME Reference Group met on a regular basis for a year in order
to explore and discuss the issue of race and disability. This report and a
number of workshops are some of the end results of the BME Reference Group's
This report briefly outlines the context of race and disability within British society. It briefly outlines what we mean by the term 'Black and Minority Ethnic community', and highlights the socio-economic inequalities which our communities experience. It also provides a definition of the term "racism", and briefly explores institutional racism. The report then discusses how disability is viewed within society, outlining the different ways of understanding disability - the Medical Model that overly focuses upon the individual's impairment and sees their medical needs as paramount, and the Social Model, generated and formulated by disabled people themselves, which argues for a more holistic view of the individuals, and sees society as the source of the disabling experience. It highlights the values, the social structures and environment as the source of the "disabling" experience of individuals. We outline what is meant by "inclusion", with a particular focus upon the central issue of inclusive education. The report then looks at why a BME reference group was set up, and then goes on to explore how our experiences differ from those of our white counterparts, and the additional challenges that we face.
The report concludes with a celebration of the empowering
process that all within the reference group have undergone and a celebration
of our disabled children, plus strong recommendations for change. Please enjoy
the extracts over the next few pages and then put in an order for your own,
while stocks last.
Snapshots, Headlines and Clippings
Our young men are afraid to make that final leap
lest the gesture be mistaken as a reaching
for an imaginary
gun or blade they're carrying
so we watch
with a mixture of dread and wonder
as they lock their hair into beautiful coils
of Afrocentric pride
knowing its yet another marker of difference
that will set them apart
label them radical = dangerous = criminal....
For I have no cure for the disease
That will transform him from cute to criminal
In the gaze of a racist world
That both needs and creates these categories
For its own survival...
by Donna M Weir
The Caribbean Writer, Vol 9
"We value and love our children for exactly who they are. They have taught
us much and demanded only our love and acceptance: that we be on their side"
"I sat there listening. What she was saying was good, I agreed with it. But all I was thinking was that there she was, a white middle class woman with more resources at hand than me. I did not even have the support of my family or my church community, who were rejecting my son and I, because he was different"
"It's important to help our Secondary aged boys to stay in school. They need extra support - but it's just not there for them. For many of these boys, they are just waiting for someone to unlock them with a key. But if there is no one to do that, they are just going to end up doing nothing and will be labelled. Then they start living up to their labels: it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy"
Lee Jasper, Policy Director of Equalities and Policing for
London's Mayor opened the launch of the report.
"My experience of the British system of education is both personal and professional. As a young (black) man, I was one of those children that the system attempted to consign to the educational rubbish heap of suspensions, expulsions and failure. Labelled as "disruptive" and an "underachiever", I was excluded five times from the schools that I attended. And now, as an older and hopefully wiser man, I continue to experience the education system, as a father of nine children and as a parent school governor....Rather than engage and empower them (young black students), the classroom has always been a hostile and discriminating environment, denying their existence, their abilities and their potential..."
Quote taken from Lee Jasper's speech at the 2002 Conference,
"Towards a Vision of Excellence: London Schools and the Black Child"
"Kareem" talks about school:
"Kareem" is a young disabled person who attended a special residential. He attended this school because the local authority did not make the resources available to meet his needs locally. He now remains at home.
What are your early memories of school?
A learning space, but I had a terrible experience. I was hurt every time I mention work was too easy and boring. All the teachers and carers working are evil. They do bad things to get children reaction to be violent. I watch one child kicking out at staff, they barricaded him in room let out afterward. I hated every staff and begin to feel learning not important in my life. Every day is a nightmare and I was unhappy all the time. But something I learn was to endure bad treatment I suffer which I told my mother.
What was the school like?
School work was too easy. I complained, teacher scolded and pull my ear that I do as am told.
Small school size, big ground for play, good light to classroom, difficult to make friends as are speech impaired and behaviours annoying. Teachers and carers verbally abusive, harassing, provoking pupil by teasing physical appearance, facial expression, bullying children by pulling to hurt. They lock doors: toilet, bathrooms, bedroom, feed with inedible food and fruits. I was frightened, felt unsafe, I felt unloved by my mother for sending me to hostile people and school.
What happened as you grew older and moved to secondary education?
My mother became my teacher and my school was at home since LEA yet to fund a school placement.
What do you feel about your education now, and are there changes
you would like to happen?
An illusion, living in a dream world waiting to wake up out of the dream. I hope I am offered the opportunity and be funded in education that are able to address my difficulty too.
"Zainab" is a young disabled person who attended a mainstream primary school. She now attends a mainstream secondary school.
What are your early memories of primary school?
I made lots of friends but the other children wanted to know what had happened to my legs, many were quite curious. The teachers were understanding. The only bad thing about my primary school was that there was no disabled access, so it was quite difficult for me to go to certain parts of the school building.
What happened as you grew older and moved to secondary school?
I was happy but very nervous. I was worried because secondary school is a huge step. The work is harder. But I was happy when I started because the building has much more disabled access like lifts and ramps.
I was also thrilled to discover two more disabled kids using wheelchairs; so I wasn't asked questions by the other pupils because they were used to it.
What do you feel about your education now, and are there changes
that you would like to happen?
I'm happy about my education, I really enjoy being at school. But I do worry a lot about the lifts breaking down, like they did before. I need to use the lifts to get to class.
I would like other kids to stop using the lifts when they don't really need it, so that it can be used by those that do need it.
The full report is available from Parents for Inclusion. Price:
£10, Free to parents of disabled children
The report is also available on tape, disc, CD Rom and simple text with pictures.
by Micheline Mason
They stole away our lives
Condemned us to a bean-bag existence
Alone together with our fellow prisoners
Left staring at mobiles, slowly moving round and round,
Just out of reach
In a hush of false protection
They pared down our experiences
To their diet of force-fed crumbs
Not broken-down, but shattered
Stripped of all meaning and context
By their one-step-at-a-time Special Curriculum
Practising for the life
They would never let begin
Now they are trying to sell our lives back
Through their glittering, flashing, bubbling rooms
Mechanical, artificial, expensive,
Another capitalist con
Feeding off our starvation
Beware the baubles, the disco dream
The light of the sun will do, thanks,
The brush of the wind, the wet of the rain,
The sound of children's laughter
In an ordinary, busy classroom
The touch of a friends hand
Welcoming us back
Into the world
Life is a multi-sensory experience
Full of lights, tastes, smells
Colours, sounds, textures abounding
Emotions, all our birthright
Denied to us by misunderstanding
Put away your cheque books
Bring us in close to the beating pulse
Of shared messy, risky, noisy days
Where we all have complex needs
We will learn then all that matters
And so will you.
This book chronicles in exquisite photographs the fourteen
year life of a child, Molly McIntyre. The photographs were taken by her mother,
Molly had a progressive physical impairment which gradually becomes apparent as the story unfolds. Her life, including her death, was lived in the centre of her family, her school and her community.
This beautiful book has made certain that Molly's existence will touch and inform many more people than those who were able to be part of Molly's circle. Her mother writes:
"Together we lived in the present moment. It was not something we talked about - it was just how we lived day to day. Nobody knows for certain what the future holds. Nobody knows the exact moment they are going to die. There is no certainty. You just have to grasp and make the most of what you are given. As a friend of mine said soon after her death, 'Molly lived the life she got magnificently and I can't say that of many people'. The lessons are universal. If you are a human being who can bear to accept the reality that nothing is certain and life and death are inextricably linked - then I hope the work resonates for you."
By Nancy Huggett
A mea culpa to the Ontario Library Association for the fear and trembling I inadvertently precipitated. It all started with a very simple email request. At least I thought it was simple. And reasonable, given their goal of promoting literacy. It was certainly not my intention to jeopardise the integrity of one of their programs, perhaps even the association itself! All I really wanted was for my daughter to participate, fully, in the Red Maple Reading Program.
The Red Maple Reading Program, according to the OLA website "brings an excellent selection of recent Canadian novels to the attention of Ontario children and young adults. It rewards them for reading by making them judges in a province-wide literary event." My first inkling of its existence was when our daughter came home excited that her school library was hosting the Red Maple Club.
"Mom! I'm going to join the Red Maple Club! There's these
great books! You, like, read them and talk about them. You can email the authors
and they email back. And you get to eat pizza!"
Pizza? I wasn't sure how pizza factored in, but the reading part sounded great.
It didn't sound so great to the teacher-librarian who thought it would not be "appropriate" for our daughter to join. Our daughter is an avid reader and writer (by avid I don't necessarily mean quick), but she also happens to have Down syndrome. While this doesn't seem to have stopped her from learning and participating along side her peers, it does sometimes have the effect of reducing otherwise intelligent educators to a just barely contained simmering miasma of fear and preconceived notions about ability and value.
The teaching assistant (may the goddess of literacy bless
her visionary soul) was able to convince the librarian that it would indeed
be appropriate for my daughter to participate since she 1) loved to read,
2) loved to talk about books, and 3) loved to belong to clubs.
In November we were presented with a delightful selection of 10 Canadian novels for young adults. 'Parvana's Journey' by Deborah Ellis was my daughter's first choice, precipitating all sorts of discussion at home about Iran and landmines and the effects of war on children. 'Run' by Eric Walters was next, because 4 of the other participants were reading it and Terry Fox was, after all, one of her heroes. In January she started 'In Spite of Killer Bees' by Julie Johnston, giving a copy to Grams to start a little Grandmother-Granddaughter email long-distance book club.
It was in January that I realised she had read all the easier books (in terms of length and content) and that she might not be able to complete the required 5 by the end of April. Required that is, to vote in Red Maple Award selection. And if you think voting might not be important you don't know my daughter, who can be quite insistent on having her opinion count.
So I made what I thought was a reasonable request for a child with a developmental disability. Could we set the goal for 4 books instead of 5? It was what I believe the Ontario Human Rights Code would consider an 'accommodation'. But the librarian didn't agree. The rules stated that to have voting privileges you had to read at least 5 of the books. The rules. Considering our history of breaking rules to make it possible for our daughter to be an active participant in life, the rule bit didn't phase me. It made me tired, but it didn't phase me.
I did what any advocate for inclusion (alias Mother from Hell)
would do, I wrote to the rule-makers, the keepers of the flame of literacy,
the Ontario Library Association. If the whole point was to promote literacy
and introduce young adults to Canadian authors, would allowing one young woman
with Down syndrome to vote if she had reached the goal of reading 4 instead
of 5 of the novels break the code? I didn't think so. But that shows you how
little I know about literacy or awards.
The OLA Education director was thoughtful enough to respond personally to my request. She assured me that she understood my situation and "heard" me. However, the OLA was not able to make an exception.
"After all, these are rules we set and if we officially suggest that readers can vote even if they read fewer than five, we would jeopardise the integrity of the program as this dispensation would spread like wildfire through our membership."
Like wildfire? Whoa, I'd never thought of that!
I suddenly had a vision, perhaps the exact vision that made the OLA tremble: whole armies of adolescents with Down syndrome descending on public and school libraries across Ontario demanding to read 4 (not FIVE) new novels by Canadian authors. How utterly frightening.
She did have other suggestions - I could go back and talk to the teacher-librarian again or find an alternate club at one of the public libraries. Let's see - I can pull my daughter out of the weekly school club with her friends (yeah right, to quote my daughter), or I can make a further annoyance of myself with the school (done that, have the tattoo to prove it).
We do have other options, but there-in lies the rub. Our lives
have become quite rich with complicated and time-consuming options that will
allow our daughter pursue her quite modest desires (in this case: to read,
to vote, to belong). For some reason the most straight-forward accommodations,
the ones that will allow her to participate as a valued and equal member of
the group, are seen as a threat to the integrity of our public institutions.
I'm not sure I understand it. Perhaps that is why I keep coming up with these
subversive ideas, ignorant as to their true impact on the basic fabric of
Canadian society. Ah well, call me unrealistic. Call me a Mom.
by Michelle Daley
Born in 1972, Michelle describes the long-term effects of going to a special school:
My parents came to England from Jamaica in the late 50's leaving behind their families. When they came to England racism was kicking in your face there and then and there was no such thing as Race Relation Act. I was born in the 70's just before the act came into force. For my parents my birth brought them mixed feelings. Of course they were elated about having me, but there was also sadness, why? I was in pain I had a broken leg and no one knew how my broken leg happened. At the time it was not know that I had a genetic impairment known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, my father was going crazy because he had thought that the nurse had dropped me. Months later my parents were given the label to my impairment. It was like a bomb had hit them. I was not the perfect baby, I was sick, I would need to be cared for the rest of my life, I was fragile. I was now a "special needs" child I was the first disabled person that my parents had interaction with.
Sadly my parents had been infected by the bad advice of professionals in terms of my schooling and sent me to a special needs school. They believed I would receive the best form of education and also my medical needs would have been taken care of. They were oblivious to the fact that I was about to experience juvenile imprisonment and be shut away for the crucial part of my informative years; being sent to a special school. In essence, I was about to enter a failing system, but the professionals reinforced to my parents that I was too "fragile" to attend an ordinary school and I would be "better cared" for in a special school. Understandably, for that era my parents accepted this, particularly because it was felt that my attendance at school was a major achievement.
My education began at the age of two at Elizabeth Fry School in the London borough of Newham, a special school for physically disabled children where I remained until I was sixteen years old. I can barely remember being in the nursery or the infants because most of the time I was in Hospital. I would say that my earliest memories are junior years at school. I began to compare my education against my young sister and there were major discrepancies with her curriculum and mine. Furthermore peoples attitude towards me differed.
On reflection I have the ability to make sense and put things into perspective. One thing I have realised is people have a tendency to overlook the fact that schools play a major part in our life and can even have an influence into shaping our personalities and characteristics in adulthood. For example after school my sister would often tell me about the tricks and pranks, she got up to on her way to and from school. There was no chance of me getting up to any kind of childhood tricks. I could forget that. I was taken to school in the famous reject buses. Did I hate having to go on the damn thing? Hell yeah! They are such an "eye sore". I use to be able to hear the bus as it came down the road to collect me in the mornings. My driver would beep the horn so loud that the people in the neighbouring borough would have been able hear it. I am sure drivers of reject buses are trained to beep their horns loud because even today they make a ridiculous amount of noise.
Needless to say as a child if I had been asked if I liked school, my reply would have been "NO". My whole education was not the same to my non-disabled peers, particularly as I was denied prospect of interacting with non disabled children in an educational setting.
My school was purpose built for disabled children. The school was well equipped with all the resources onsite it had a medical room, physiotherapy room, speech therapy room and hydrotherapy pool. It looked and smelt very clinical. It was one massive clinical bubble - sterile. Special School, is it a school or for respite? I believe that special needs schools then were looked on as a respite service. It is for this reason there was no formal curriculum and that is why the teaching was so poor.
I strongly believe that the teachers in my school could not cope in a mainstream school and therefore the teachers saw the special needs school as an easy option to remain and continue with their career. It is evident in the schools outcome performance. It was assumed that pupils leaving school would attend the local day centre or attend residential college for disabled people.
At thirteen most children select the subjects and begin to
think about their career path. Well at Elizabeth Fry this part of our education
did not exist. I remember it was about this age I started to rebel about my
schooling experience and because of this I was known as the naughty child.
There were so many things that I was not taught and missed out on which are
so vital in adulthood.
Our school would select certain children for the integration programme. I happened to be one of the lucky ones. This involved me attending a mainstream school once a week to study one subject. I did not particularly enjoy that experience. Why? Mainly because I was seen as the special needs kid of the class. There was really no opportunity for me to develop any real friends because I was only there for an hour a week. No one knew who you were and also you were never really made to feel part of the school.
There were also times when I felt like our schools was a freak display for non-disabled people. I remember pupils would often be asked to show visitors around the school. It was like showing them some precious jewel. It was pretence.
People thought that they where doing good deeds to the poor disabled children. Once a year the taxi drivers would raise money and take my school along with other disabled schools to the seaside. As a child I really enjoyed these trips. There was one particular year when I could not attend this trip because I had broken my femur which meant I could not sit upright and had to lay flat. Bearing in mind that the whole school had attended this trip besides the nursery. Of course, I was extremely upset. I spent that day in the nursery. This questioned the inclusiveness of my special needs school.
I could never work out the system in my school. They had the most oppressive form of teaching I have ever come across. When I was about fourteen years old teachers introduced a new style of grouping classes they got rid of grouping pupils based on their age. The pupils where categorised based on their impairments. For example the less able being those who had communication and mobility impairment were grouped together.
Racism was rife in my school both pupils and staff where racist. The racism was as clear as glass, it smelt. An incident happened and a pupil called me a nigger which I retaliated and a teacher got involved. I was told off for being rude. At the time I was fuming and contested the teacher for their actions it was then I shouted out that I had been called a nigger. To my amazement the issue was brushed under the carpet and nothing more was mentioned.
I think some of the most horrifying moments were seeing young people's dignity being denied. It was not uncommon to see children be toileted with the door open. Children that needed support with eating would be made to sit on different dinning tables. The set up for providing support was carried out in a degrading manner.
I often felt a sense of isolation, particularly in my later years of school when I felt that I did not have anything in common with the local young people of my neighbourhood. I did not feel part of their cliques because we did not have enough shared experiences.
I remember when Newham was first introducing its policy of closing down special schools. My local community was not too happy about the thought of having disabled children in their schools. There were comments like "lot of spastics are coming into our schools and the schools will go downhill" but in reality it has not been like this.
There was one instrumental part of my schooling which has today made a mark in my life. There was a physiotherapist called Owen McGhee who recognised that there was no independent training and life skills. He formed a small group called the Newham Rollers, the group got to do lots of exciting activities such as camping, track racing and basketball. I was about 14 when I got involved in this group. Sports became my outlet and I loved it. Owen was not interested in the experimental methods the medical professionals had used to try to get me to stand and walk. He saw my wheelchair as a means to freedom and trained me to use it. He gave me my independence. It was the first time that I actually felt something positive. Owen often got in trouble by the headmaster of my school for allowing us to take risks. Thankfully Owen ignored it all.
I knew what I wanted to do when I left school and I knew that I needed qualifications to be able to follow my chosen career path. At school my vision for the future was distorted. At the age of sixteen I left school with no qualifications which of course restricted my employment and education opportunities.
When it was time for me to leave school my family made it clear that a special needs college was not an option. They were determined, like me, that I would go onto a mainstream college and found one which was not the nearest, but the most accessible. Emotionally, going to college was very hard for me at first. I was shit scared. I did not like it and wanted to leave. I did not get much special help at college, but I was included. Staff were very supportive and would often ask me what I needed, how they could ensure that I could access everything. They changed the classrooms to downstairs, so that I could do the subjects I had chosen. They let me type all my work. Everything was planned with me in mind, even work-placements. I did not have to ask. I broke my finger once and my friends took it in turn to write my notes. I never got that kind of support in the special school. In return I would help them with their assignments. They looked at my gifts, not my inabilities.
It angers me that in year 2004 parents of disabled children and disabled people are poisoned into believing special needs schools are the better option. However my experience in the special needs and mainstream is a big contrast.
I am tired of hearing stories that disabled people are denied
the right to a proper education. It stinks! It is time for a change. We must
have an inclusive educational system if we are to make a difference with the
"Let us join together and ride in the Lexus to the road to inclusion"
'On the closing day of its annual conference in Llandudno,
the NASUWT called for more special schools to be built, warning that efforts
to integrate children with physical and mental disabilities or behaviour problems
had gone to far.'
'Birmingham teacher Fran Oborski told delegates:
"For some very vulnerable children inclusion is a form of child abuse or torture"'
The Guardian, April 17 2004
Teachers oppose further inclusion
'The NASUWT annual conference demanded that special schools be given recognition and encouraged to enrol more pupils to reverse "the trend of unsustainable inclusion"'
BBC News, April 19 2004
It was on with the armour yet again this Spring Bank Holiday as the sad teachers gathered together under the umbrella of The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) in order to throw another missile at the inclusion movement.
How do they get away with it? What if doctors were to say they couldn't do their jobs properly because they were getting 'the wrong sort of patients'?
To begin with, their arguments are not based on evidence. There is no great move to empty special schools in the UK. There are in fact almost as many children in special schools now as ten years ago. Special schools have been amalgamated and re-named, but not closed. There are also far more young people excluded from school and placed in PRUs (Pupil Referral Units) than ever before.
What has changed however, is that some schools and some LEAs (Local Education Authorities) have started down the road to inclusion and they have tried to help young people with difficult to manage behaviour instead of sending them back out to the situation which caused their difficulties in the first place. It is true that this approach is more emotionally demanding of adults. Schools which have succeeded in reducing exclusions have had strong leadership and bring in outside resources to help.
Interestingly, this is most often in the form of training for the pupils in anger management, restorative justice, peer mentoring, circles of support, PALs and buddying schemes. A whole augmentative curriculum is being developed in life skills, which benefits the whole school, including teachers. Surely the argument must be how to spread this success from school to school.
When so much has happened within the education system in the last few years - the National Curriculum, SATs, League Tables, OFSTED - to make school such a hard place for many young people and teachers to be, the Governments policy on inclusion, weak though it is, is the only balancing factor. It is the only significant reminder that schools are full of human beings, not teaching / learning machines serving the God of Profits and nothing else.
ALL EQUAL, ALL DIFFERENT is a resource pack to develop an
understanding of disability and promote inclusion in the Early Years and Key
Stage 1. The pack consists of:
Six illustrated story books written by disabled people
Counting and A-Z books featuring children from an inclusive nursery
'The Access Game' - a barriers and solutions board game
'Disabled People Who Have Made a Difference' book, featuring over 45 disabled people who have made a difference
Sixteen A3 black and white posters, showing images of inclusion in schools
A video of 10 signed nursery songs
Two Practitioners Guides: 'All Equal, All Different' and 'Everybody In'
The pack has been compiled by Richard Rieser, Director of Disability Equality in Education, in consultation with the UK Disability Forum for European Affairs and a panel of practitioners, with a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions for the European Year of Disabled People.
This is a welcome resource that fills a current gap.
The first 300 requests for a single pack will be FREE. Thereafter the pack will cost £75
Disabling Imagery? - A teaching guide to disability and moving
Written by Richard Rieser, Published by Disability Equality in Education
This teaching guide is based on a project of DEE and BFI to create a website and DVD with a grant from the Department of Work and Pensions under European Year of Disabled People 2003.
The book provides a wealth of information on how disability has been represented in moving image from the earliest days. The approach is from a disability equality and human rights perspective, which draws on the collective thinking of the Disabled People's Movement. Therefore, whether you are experienced in Media Studies/English teaching and/or have some understanding of disability issues, it's important to read the Introduction and Ways of thinking about disability before moving on to look at the film and teaching sections. The contents may also be accessed on the bfi website: www.bfi.org.uk/disablingimagery
2. Ways of thinking about disability
3. Teaching with moving image media
4. Treatment of disabled people in moving image media
5. Activities and Student Handouts
6. Further resources
The book also includes a 90 minute DVD with short films and
film clips from: Alison's Baby; Arko Ujyalo (Another Light); Better or Worse?;
See the Person, not the Disability; Cousin; Together; Black Dog; Blind Sensation;
Raspberry Ripple Awards; Tell It like It is; Sixth Happiness; The Chapeau
Roan; Rhythm of Survival; The Egg & Gallivant.
There is also a CD of Text and Pictures.
Price: £20 plus postage £5
To order EITHER publication, contact the Book Sales Department
Phone: 020 7359 2855
Fax: 020 7354 3372
Order online at: www.diseed.org.uk
Developing young pupils' skills
By Mal Leicester and Gill Johnson
ISBN - 0-415-31112-8
"Narratives not only help to humanise aliens, strangers and scapegoats but also to make each one of us into an 'agent of love' sensitive to the particular details of another's' pain and humiliation" (Rorty)
This book is an excellent resource for schools that wish to use the power of storytelling to develop empathy and friendship between children who have been divided by stereotyping and prejudice.
The stories are short, interesting and emotionally engaging. I needed a box of tissues close at hand as I read them - always a good sign. They cover a wide range of experiences of 'difference' which can lead to exclusion, including being a traveller, living on a boat, immigrating from Jamaica, having visible and invisible impairments, being a bully, being the child of a lone father and of hiding HIV status. They all help to see the gifts and capacities in people who may be seen as a problem. Most importantly they all celebrate friendship and children's innate capacity to understand and care for each other once they have the information they need.
Each story has guidelines for use, and suggestions for many
ways to develop and extend the work on the issues raised. In my view this
book is a must for every school. Although aimed at young children of primary
school age, it has lessons in it for many an adult who was not fortunate enough
to be brought up in a culture that is beginning to tackle the many irrational
divisions between us.
A press release from Professor Gus John of Parents and Students Empowerment (PASE) questions the Governments claim that the number of children permanently excluded from school is falling. Gus says the recognised figures of children not being educated in school are intimidating:
1,000,000 truants each year
100,000 fixed term exclusions each year
9,000 permanent exclusions each year
25,000 children out of school each year
With two new avenues now open to Head Teachers to deem that
a child should be educated 'elsewhere', this can only be set to rise.
For more information, contact Professor Gus John, Chair of PaSE, Parents and Students Empowerment, on 079685 80260 / 0161 611 8952 / 0170 623 1612.
Or contact Gerry German, Director of the Communities Empowerment Network, on 0208 715 7092 / 0208 432 0530 / 0771 457 1182.
PASE was established in 2003 to provide a forum for students and their parents to work together in a national self-organised and self-directed campaigning organisation to demand genuine equality of opportunity and non-discriminatory treatment in the British educational system.
The Communities Empowerment Network (CEN) was established
in 2000 in order to provide advice, counselling, support, representation and
training for people experiencing mistreatment and disadvantage in education,
especially exclusion from school.
Advice either face-to-face, in writing and a telephone help-line
Advocacy training courses which enable participants to represent themselves and others before governing bodies and independent appeal panels
Empowerment / Personal development courses for students, teachers, parents and governors
Stimulating and challenging placements and work experience for volunteers and students
Information available, through newsletter, pamphlets, reports, manuals and website
Conferences, seminars, workshops
Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT
Tel: Office: 020 8432 0530
Helpline: 020 8432 0531
(outside office hours: 020 8715 7092)