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30 Years Celebration of Inclusive Education Practice
Children, Schools & Families Act 2010


30 Years Celebration of Inclusive Education Practice

It’s been 30 years since the passing of the 1981 Education Act which was the first piece of legislation that imposed a duty upon mainstream schools and local educational authorities to arrange provision that was required to support children with special educational needs to flourish. This landmark legislation created the Special Educational Needs (including the statementing) framework which remains in place 30 years on. Since then, there have been some incremental improvements in strengthening the law so that disabled children and young people (including those with special educational needs) have stronger rights in securing mainstream educational placements.  

The 1981 Education Act was introduced by the Conservative Government with full cross party support both in the House of Commons and House of Lords.    

30 years on the Coalition Government launched an attack on inclusion by calling for a reversal of the ‘bias towards inclusive education’ under the guise of parental choice.   ALLFIE wanted to use the 30th anniversary to encourage back bench MPs to be aware of the inclusive education practice in their constituencies.  

What Allfie achieved

Cross Party support for Early Day Motion 2481 '30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE EDUCATION ACT 1981' at a time when inclusive education is under attack from the Coalition  Government.  

Early Day Motion 2481 - '30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE EDUCATION ACT 1981
That this House recognises the significant progress that has been made in the 30 years since the Education Act 1981 passed through Parliament with all-party support; notes that through an effective partnership between parents, schools, children and young people, education professionals and local authorities, inclusive education practice has made a significant contribution to improving the lives of disabled and non-disabled children; and believes that this legislation has played an important and positive role in building a society that values diversity and enables disabled people to realise their aspirations and make a positive contribution to society.

Further information can be found in the following Allfie Briefings:

Allfie Briefing No. 27 September 2011

Allfie Briefing No. 28 December 2011

Allfie Briefing No. 29 February 2012

PRESS RELEASE - Allfie Calls for Dialogue Between Schools and MPs to Celebrate 30 Years of Inclusive Education Practice

30 years pic Image by Simone Aspis


Children, Schools & Families Act 2010

The Children, Schools and Families Act covers a range of provisions including school inspections,  right to appeal against local authorities refusing to amend a child’s with SEN’s statement after an annual review, and ‘exceptional provision’ for pupils who are ill or excluded from school.    
The provisions in the Act include:

  • Imposes a legal duty on school inspectors to inspect how well mainstream school provision meets the needs of their pupils with special educational needs.  

  • Right for parents to appeal against a local authority refusal to amend a child’s Special Educational Needs Statement after an annual review.

  • Local Authorities will be under a duty to arrange education provision for pupils who are ill or have been excluded.

The Parental and Pupil Guarantees and Home – School agreements including clauses on parental contracts and orders, were withdrawn from the Bill by Government, after ALLFIE’s campaigning, just before the General Election in 2010.

What Allfie achieved

  • The Coalition Government has reduced the OFSTED In sections framework to cover four core areas including achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils in school.    Nevertheless, after considerable lobbying, Inspectors must now also consider: ‘The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and to what extent to which the education provided by the school enables all pupils to achieve, in particular disabled pupils and pupils who have special educational needs’.

  • ALLFIE has starting working with OFSTED to see how disabled children and young people can be involved in inspection services. 

Further information can be found in the following Allfie Briefings:

ALLFIE Briefing No.13 January 2010

ALLFIE Briefing No.14 February/March 2010

ALLFIE Briefing No.16 May 2010