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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ruth Kelly revisited

For once Lowri Turner talks commonsense albeit in her own inimitable style:

My six-year-old son is dyslexic. He is in a class of 30 at his local state primary with one full-time teacher and a teaching assistant. When his father and I attended a meeting with his headmistress to discuss what help was available we were offered two 15-minute "catch-up" sessions of one-to-one reading a week.

When I, slightly flabbergasted, asked if the local authority didn't provide anything else, the head said no and then added, "But fortunately you have the resources".

Kelly says, "I, like any mother, want to do the right thing for my son - that has been my sole motivation". Selfishness is not a good enough defence. It's simply insulting to those whose pockets aren't as deep. Ruth Kelly's actions reveal not only the reality of state education for children with special needs, but also reinforce what has evidently become the New Labour attitude towards education for all children - "I'm all right, Jack, sod the rest of you".

This is the point that I sought to make on Monday. Nobody is arguing that Mrs Kelly should not be able to get the best possible education for her child, just that she is exercising a choice not available to many others and that the dilemma she faced is largely brought about by her own government's failure to create an inclusive education system.
That was mild.

Dr Crippen's Diary records: "As a parent, and a doctor, I am deeply sympathetic to her, and to her educationally challenged child.

"As a citizen of this country I am appalled at the oleaginous canting hypocrisy of this god-bothering slime-ball who is going to pay £15,000 a year to buy special educational services that are not available for ordinary folk."
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