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2017 Manifesto education



Will you #BeTheChange for Young People who have a learning disability?


Young people who have a learning disability should grow up in a world that includes them in all areas of society, gives them support and opportunities to engage with their peers, develop friendships, and equips them with the personal skills to progress and be valued members in the community.

We now have a generation of young people who have a learning disability, of whom the majority have been educated alongside their wider peer group in mainstream settings.

Yet too many young people who have a learning disability are still excluded by friends and peers; from classroom and curriculum; and from opportunities and activities that make up the spectrum of school life.

In 2016 ENABLE Scotland hosted a national conversation - #IncludED in the Main?! – on life at school for pupils who have a learning disability.  Over 800 young people who have a learning disability, their parents and carers, and members of the education workforce joined in. Their experiences inform ENABLE Scotland’s 22 recommendations for change: #IncludED in the Main?! – 22 Steps on the Journey to Inclusion for every pupil who has a learning disability.

Why we need you to #BeTheChange:

 ‘Simply being present in a classroom does not mean you are included’.
  • 60% of young people who have learning disabilities feel like people at their school don’t understand them and have been bullied.
  • 46% of young people who have learning disabilities don’t get the same chances to take part in games in the playground as everyone else in their school. 23% miss out on school trips!
  • The number of additional support for learning teachers in Scotland fell last year to its lowest level since 2007; with 22 out of 32 local authority areas reducing ASN teachers since 2009.
  • 82% of the education workforce believes there is a shortage of classroom/pupil support assistants available to meet the needs of children with additional support needs educated in a mainstream setting.
  • 40% of young people who have learning disabilities have been informally excluded from school. For 19% this happens on a weekly basis!
You can #BeTheChange and take the next steps on the Journey to Inclusion by:

1. Lessons on Learning Disability should be embedded into the curriculum for all students. Pupils who have a learning disability themselves should be empowered to have a key role in this. 

2. Encourage our schools to target Scottish Attainment Challenge funding at reducing inequality of opportunity for children and young people who have learning disabilities.

3. Reinvesting in specialism; ensuring that Support for Learning Teachers numbers are maintained and increased in the local authority area.

4. Commit to the Council investing in upskilling and effectively deploying the vital classroom support staff in our schools.

1.   Answer to Parliamentary Question from John Swinney MSP

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