Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/348/5776
Save our Special Schools
LEICESTER CITY Council plans to close six special schools, despite the overwhelming opposition of most parents and teachers in the city. A group called Save Our Special Schools is lobbying council meetings, petitioning councillors and rallying outside the town hall on 20 May to try to stop the council's plans going ahead.
Andrew Walton, Leicester Socialist Party and NUT
Using the Blairite argument of "inclusion", councillors want to find places for most of the city's special needs pupils in units alongside mainstream schools. However, if the council carry out their programme, it will lead to bullying, disrupt children's education, and mean yet more work for hard-pressed teachers.
Children with behavioural difficulties and those on the autistic spectrum need small class sizes, yet they will be sent to much larger schools than those they attend. There would be no special needs provision in the city for children under the age of seven.
The Socialist Party will campaign alongside the protesters. We demand a democratic voice for teachers and parents. Unlike the major parties, we are prepared to take on board local people's opinions.
Labour group leader Ross Wilmott has criticised the Liberal/Tory controlled council's plans, yet Labour did exactly the same -making cuts, merging schools and proposing a privatised "City Academy" school - when they were in charge.
It is time to give local people their voices back. We need to build a real alternative, a socialist party answerable to local concerns, rather than parties imposing decisions against the wishes of the electorate, and pandering to big business.
In The Socialist 22 May 2004:
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