(English) Special schools have been specifically set up to cater for the needs of disabled children. Why deprive these children of such tailor-made provision?

Many of today’s special schools have evolved out of Health-managed Junior Training Centres, which were themselves set up at a time when disabled people were mostly seen as defective and/or objects of pity. Today many of these institutions remain, but the mentality that created them is increasingly called into question: as social values progress and people with unusual bodies or minds are increasingly appreciated and respected as people, it makes little social, educational or moral sense to maintain separate educational institutions for a small minority of children. At a time when personalised learning is a strong feature of mainstream schooling, there is no reason why tailor-made provision has to take place in separate institutions. CSIE suggests that with creative use of resources, including human resources, this question can be turned on its head: why deprive disabled children of the opportunity to grow up, learn and develop with their peers?

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