A24 is a new organisation in Scotland. A24 or Article 24 is named after the section of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities that aims to secure inclusive education.
A24 wants to achieve inclusive education for all children and young people in Scotland’s schools. Inclusive education is a human rights issue. All children and young people learn better in inclusive schools; schools that take full account of difference.
We are a group of parents of disabled children, disabled people, practitioners and researchers. We want Scottish education to keep moving forward on its journey with inclusive education.
Scotland generally does well in inclusive ways. However it can do better. Almost all disabled children and disabled young people attend their local school with their friends. We are concerned that in Scotland now there are plans to reduce that very high level by failing to plan for inclusive education and looking to increase the uptake in segregated special schooling.
We want to build on the successes of Scottish education, not turn back the clock and institutionalise our disabled children and young people. We think inclusive education should be the aim of our national policy and legislation framework.
In Scotland seven authorities don’t have segregated special schools. Several only have one. We want every education authority to be inclusive and plan and resource inclusive education rather leave schools to struggle.
The resources are available right now to achieve these aims. For instance the Scottish Parliament have debated inclusion several times but never considered how to plan for inclusive education. They have never taken account of international conventions such as UNCRPD and the General Comment No.4.
As a result of this lack of political leadership from politicians Scotland is now being left behind by countries like Italy and Portugal. They placed human rights and planning and resourcing inclusive education at the centre of policy. We should do the same.
We want to see every education authority having a legal duty to provide inclusive education without exception. We want to have specialist support being available to all schools rather than segregated provision and hoarding of resources in special schools.
We want every school to plan and identify ways to improve their approach to including all children. We need teachers and support staff in every classroom confident and competent in the range of practice for inclusive education. We want all children to be supportive of each other in their school community.