By now, you’ve probably heard of the recent news that the UK is set to introduce new laws that will make it a criminal offence to teach children the fundamentals of maths, science, reading and writing in schools.
The aim of the new laws, which will also apply to nurseries and childcare services, is to ensure that children with disabilities are taught to read and write.
The proposed legislation has already been condemned by disability rights groups as draconian, unfair and damaging to the well-being of children.
According to the National Disability Action Group, the new measures are “likely to be more harmful to children with learning disabilities than beneficial to them”.
The UK’s Education and Skills Strategy (ESAS) states that the measures aim to ensure “children are taught in a way that is accessible, adaptive and engaging for their ability to learn and adapt to new experiences”.
It states: The ESAS aims to deliver a child’s first experience of reading and learning at an early age, and to ensure children with a learning disability are able to be part of a learning environment that is supportive of learning and learning to be.
The policy aims to achieve a “high degree of equality between children and those who need to read or learn in a child-centred school”.
This is a very broad approach.
If it is implemented, we would expect to see a significant increase in the number of children who cannot read or write.
However, the ESAS policy does not set out exactly how this policy will be implemented.
The ESAs aims are to “build a culture of literacy, where children have a range of choices for learning”.
Accordingly, it’s possible that the proposed legislation will see children with special needs having to learn maths, or other subjects in a classroom environment.
One of the most prominent criticisms of the proposed laws is that they are not sufficiently sensitive to the needs of children with developmental disabilities, and that this will result in increased rates of children being left behind in the education system.
For example, a study published by the National Children’s Foundation in September 2015 found that a child with a reading disability was almost four times more likely to fail to progress to the next grade than a child who has not had a reading or language impairment.
If we take a closer look at the proposed changes to the UK’s education system, it becomes clear that the proposals are unlikely to be effective in improving children’s learning outcomes.
To start, the proposed proposals are very much aimed at children who have a disability.
As noted in the Department for Education’s Children and Young People 2014 report on child learning, “The government’s proposals to remove the requirement for children to learn reading and language and to provide more flexibility in the delivery of teaching skills will not improve child learning.”
Furthermore, the proposals could also exacerbate the problem of children not learning to read in a more integrated way with those with disabilities, as they will not be able to read at all.
Therefore, the government’s policies have a very significant impact on children who may be in a difficult situation in their educational environment.
The proposals would also be harmful to disabled children.
The UK government says that “Children with disabilities who are not learning in a well-structured way will face a significantly higher risk of poverty and other disadvantages than those who are”.
In addition, children who are disadvantaged by disability may be more likely than their non-disabled peers to use resources that are unavailable to them, such as social exclusion and a lack of access to schools and other social supports.
It is also important to remember that the proposal is not an absolute.
A study published in the journal Child Development found that the changes in the curriculum for primary schools will “have a negligible effect on the outcomes of children who are learning in a culturally and linguistically diverse environment”.
Furthermore the proposals do not reflect the reality of the UK education system and the role of parents in the educational system.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the majority of children in the UK are home schooled.
Despite the government promising to be a “fair and inclusive society”, there is a significant disparity between the educational attainment of children and that of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Many disabled children who come from disadvantaged families have a harder time accessing formal and informal schools, and they are also more likely to be excluded from other opportunities.
Furthermore it’s important to recognise that the ESAs goal is to provide a “well-structuring and well-functioning” educational environment for children, not to ensure they learn in the way they need to.
So what are the main concerns about the proposed new legislation?
First, it would mean that all children, regardless of their ability level, will be forced to read the same textbooks.
This is simply not realistic.
Second, the proposal would make it illegal to teach a child