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Monday, 1 August 2011

David Cameron Accused Over School Policies By Disabled Boy's Father

David Cameron was accused today of seeking to segregate disabled children in the education system by the father of a boy with spina bifida who tackled him as he left a General Election campaign speech.

Jonathan Bardley, who confronted the Conservative leader with his wheelchair-bound son as he left the event in south London, voiced his concern about Tory plans to "end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools".

He told Mr Cameron about the two-year struggle he had faced to get seven-year-old Samuel into his local mainstream school, and said the existing system was already biased against disabled children being educated alongside their able-bodied peers.

Mr Cameron insisted that, as the parent of a disabled child himself, he was "passionate" about helping them get the education that was right for them and would not do anything to make it more difficult for them.

But Mr Bardley said: "It is the wrong way to go. You are not representing the needs of children in mainstream education. You want to segregate disabled children."

The Conservative manifesto states: "The most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care, so we will call a moratorium on the ideologically-driven closure of special schools.

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