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Blog


Crisis in Special Needs Education – Teaching Assistants made Redundant as Central and Local Govt argue over Funding

There was a thoroughly depressing piece by Fran Abrams in the Guardian’s Education Section on 11th April 2017, headlined ‘Schools battle to support special needs as teaching assistants lose jobs’ – ‘Pupils are at risk of being turned away from mainstream schools as classroom support falls victim to budget cuts’. To read it, which I recommend, follow this link .

Here is not the place to present arguments for and against special schools and provision within mainstream schools. Would it not just be nice if parents had the choice between two viable and adequately funded options (that is assuming they can navigate the statementing process)?

Continue reading

SWAN Children -‘I just want to know what’s wrong with my child’

The issues around securing a diagnosis for your child will be familiar to many parents. Most (including the author of this post) will have an anecdote or horror story to tell about the process.

I was reminded of the problems around diagnosis by an article by Chris Evans in the i newspaper on 22nd May, also available online via this link.

Continue reading

Manifestos – Part 3

Well another day another manifesto launch, again as with the others I read the Conservative Manifesto from cover to cover looking for references to people with a learning disability but again I didn’t find much Continue reading

Manifestos – Part 2

Yesterday saw the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto and I will try to cover the relevant points as I did with the Labour Party.

I have to say that there were not many references to learning disability so I’ll do the best I can with the limited resources offered. The full manifesto can be downloaded by entering Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2017 into your search engine Continue reading

Manifesto time again!!!

Well I didn’t think we would be doing this again so soon after last time but who am I to expect that 5 year fixed term parliaments should actually mean that!
Once again I am going to read all the manifestos for the main political parties for references to learning disability and specific policies that affect people with a learning disability.
First off the blocks is the Labour Party who published their manifesto yesterday and it is very easily downloadable, just enter labour party manifesto into your search engine. Continue reading

An Expert Guide to Mental Capacity and the Right to Vote

We have just received what appears to be a pretty definitive guide to learning disability, mental capacity, and the capacity and right to vote in the upcoming election.

This may be useful to you or someone you care for. Written by Lucy Series, it is a blog posting entitled ‘It’s that time again’.

If you read it, it will quickly become clear that she wants us to remember the mantra ‘ mental incapacity is not a legal incapacity to vote’ with the slightly less memorable addendum  ‘thanks to s73 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006′.  Continue reading

The Care Act and Advocacy: how is Statutory Duty actually being observed?

The Care Act and Advocacy… There is a whole chapter devoted to it in the Care Act Statutory Guidance –  just the 66 paragraphs!

” This chapter (7) provides guidance on: Sections 67 and 68 of the Care Act 2014 & the Care and Support (Independent Advocacy) Regulations 2014….

Even in 2015, legal expert Belinda Schwehr was asking “Advocacy – Is anyone actually getting any now it’s a statutory duty?” raising concerns and issues which are still relevant.

Just today I noticed on Twitter that Lucy Series (Small Places blogger) had asked the question (on 29th March) : “Anyone know where I can find statistics on Care Act advocacy referrals? Are they collected centrally by DH, and published anywhere?”  Continue reading

Emergency Debate on changes to Personal Independence Payment Regulations

Slightly lost in the news coverage of other events taking place yesterday 30th March (Article 50 Letter, commemoration of the victims of last week’s terrorist attack, George Michael’s funeral ), a significant debate took place in the Commons.

The Speaker, John Bercow, acceded to the request of Shadow Minister Debbie Abrahams and allowed an emergency debate on the proposed Amendments to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Regulations.

A factual description of the circumstances requiring this debate, with links to the written- and video-transcripts is available  on the Parliament website:  https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2017/march/emergency-debate-on-personal-independence-payments/   Continue reading

Law Commission Report: implications for human rights and restricting powers of health and care professionals

Expert on disability law and (currently occasional) blogger Lucy Series has just posted her initial thoughts on the law Commission proposals for the replacement of the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). These may be found on here on her Small Places website.

As Lucy says, there is a lot to think about… but her thoughts on the implications of the proposals for human rights issues are very interesting. Below I reproduce an excerpt from the blog article . The emboldening and underling of text is mine – an attempt to highlight what  parents and family carers may find particularly interesting. 

Continue reading

Reaction to Channel 4 Dispatches ‘Under Lock and Key’

Last week, I gave you notice of an important documentary, a Channel 4 Dispatches report on people with learning disabilities and autism who become  long-stay patients (effectively residents) of  hospitals and specialist units administered by NHS England. Under Lock and Key was  distressing viewing.

Rescare’s office staff have now seen  the programme via catch-up, and like many, have been left angry and depressed. Personally, I was most upset to realise, from parents’ accounts of their own experiences, how many rights parents lose when a young person becomes an inpatient; and by the programme’s confirming what I actually already knew, that despite post-Winterbourne commitments, there are still over 2,400 people  in ‘specialist’ (sic) hospitals and residential placements.  Former minister at the Department of Health, Norman Lamb, was interviewed for the programme, and seemed especially upset and angry, offering a personal commitment to pursue this issue. Continue reading

RESCARE

The Society for Children and Adults
with Learning Disabilities and their Families

 

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