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BBC 1 Panorama tonight (7 September 2020) - The fight for disabled children's education

Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,334

Scope community team

edited October 2020 in Education and learning
Tonight at 7.35pm on BBC One, Panorama are reporting on the challenges faced by families of disabled children in accessing education during and after the covid-19 lockdown.  

The BBC One website provides the following overview:

"For any parent, making sure a child gets the best schooling is often a worry, but when your child has complex special educational needs and disabilities, it can cause real anxiety. As most children in England return to their classrooms, reporter Sean Dilley investigates the system for supporting young people with special educational needs. He meets families who, during lockdown, struggled without any support at all, and now, as their children head back to school, fear they may not get the right support to help them learn and stay safe in their classrooms. Sean discovers an adversarial system that was supposed to put the needs of children at its heart, but instead has created what some call ‘a treacle of bureaucracy’ for parents to navigate"

For our members who give this a watch, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.  
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Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,122 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Ooo I'll definitely have to watch this!
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  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,928 Disability Gamechanger
    @Cher_Scope - I found the programme most humbling. I've read about parent's problems here on Scope, but to see just a little as to how much such parents go through, especially with the recent lockdown, was both insightful & dreadful.
    As a parent, I know how much you fight 'tooth & nail' to get the best for your child if they have a problem. It all seems to sadly come down to a lack of money. Whilst the cost of supporting a child with special needs was given, unfortunately no cost by comparison was given for educating a child without such needs; that was the only failure of the programme. However I hope it raised much needed awareness in the general population.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,334

    Scope community team

    @chiarieds I entirely agree.  I found it a difficult watch and it was a real eye opener to the struggles that parents of disabled children are facing accessing support.  One bit that really struck me was the comment that the priority has become the bureaucratic process rather than the child.  I thought that was so true.  

    Did anyone else catch the programme?
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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 682 Pioneering
    £15,000 to £45,000 was the education cost mentioned, and it continues up to age 25, so naturally the L.A. will fight tooth and nail to avoid it.  When campaigning  with an adult disability group, it was exactly  the same situation, except that what is accepted as a minimum quality of life when funded from the education budget will suddenly  stop when it's  from adult S.S. budget.   The extraordinary thing is the openly practiced Age Discrimination, when even that,  measly budget, drops off yet another cliff for the Older Adults, who are simply banned from  being awarded the same 'essential needs' , the moment they reach the senior age.  This is  despite Age being one of the protected groups, like Race.   

    Once, I volunteered in a special school, which was brilliant.  The staff loved those children like their own, and worked hard to achieve little advances.   I thought, even then, how much could be achieved for disabled adults, including the unmentionable pariahs; the Older Adults, with just a fraction of that provision.  I thought, too, how sensible and cost effective  it would be.  Obliging people to rot away in body and mind, isolated, won't  necessarily be a cheap option for the public purse. An ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.

    It's  interesting that with the increased number of old people in Japan, a new crime wave has happened.   Old ladies deliberately try to get out in prison, to have a worry-free roof and food, and above all to have company.  (One suspects that maybe there is a bit of respect for elders in Japan, so they don't  fear being bullied and beaten up by staff and fellow prisoners,  as they would anticipate happening in u.k.)
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,334

    Scope community team

    @newborn I agree, the drop off in support when disabled adults hit 25 is something that makes me uncomfortable.  Needs don't suddenly disappear at this age so the idea that educational support should cease is puzzling.

    BTW - I hadn't heard that about Japan.  I'll look it up  :)
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  • TeresaHTeresaH Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I missed that this was on - thanks @Cher_Scope! I will take a look tomorrow
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,334

    Scope community team

    @TeresaH No problem, its on catchup.  Let me know what you thought to it.
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  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Member Posts: 355 Pioneering
    edited September 2020
    I didn't see it but just want to flag up that the "up to 25" only applies if a young person is in some sort of local authority funded educational setting for a minimum number of hours per week (sorry I don't know what it is).  If they are no longer in education, even if they are only 20, they will be treated as an adult and similarly if they are in Higher Education (university) even if their needs are significant, they cannot have an EHCP or any right to co-ordinated support.  We are in that position.
    Some health provision (like the NICE guidance on children and young people with CP) does state that it covers up to 25, but in terms of educational support it is only if they meet certain criteria.

  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,334

    Scope community team

    @forgoodnesssake Thank you for that information.  That makes matters even worse  :( How are you getting on?
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  • TeresaHTeresaH Member Posts: 5 Listener
    @Cher_Scope Apologies late reply!  Have been away for a couple of weeks.  Did manage to watch programme.  It was not an 'easy watch'.  Parents having to continually battle against the system and justify why their family needs extra support.  Lack of finance continues to impact on individual needs not being met and, as other people have said in this thread, the need for support does not suddenly stop in adulthood.  Despite progress being made, for me - as an historian, I can see how many of the issues faced today are not dissimilar to those of the past.    :(
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Finally got round to watching it at the weekend. I know from experience how bad it can be, but wow! Yeah, a hard watch.
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  • DereshaDeresha Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Hi,  I still can’t bring myself to watch it to be honest.  My son is one of the children who was (still is ) denied a place back at school directly due to his disabilities, and his alleged danger to others in spreading a virus he doesn’t have. He has a tracheostomy so requires the all important AGPs.  It wasn’t the original reason for removing him from the school roll in favour of home educating, but it certainly was the ‘nail in the coffin’. It’s the end of September now and those children are still not back in schools. I will not have my child exposed to that.  Fortunately I’m in a position to home educate and we’re  having a blast, but it’s not the point really.  I should watch it. Maybe tomorrow 😬 
    Widow/Mum to a child who is ventilator dependent via tracheostomy, he is deaf and autistic, and homeschooled.
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