Ruth Kelly: Special Educational Needs

Ruth Kelly MP has come under a lot of criticism in the last week because she has chosen to send one of her children, who has been identified as having special needs, to a fee-paying private school, rather than to a free state school.

The main objection seems to be that it’s all very well for her to do so, because she can afford it, but the majority of parents in that situation can’t, and so she’s been wrong to do so.

Bollocks. As a parent, I know damn fine it’s all about what you can afford, even if you’re not sending your child to a fee-paying school. The higher the house prices you can afford, the better the state schools around that your children will be in the catchment area for, and the better the education they’ll have, particularly when you’re looking at primary schools wilth smaller catchment areas.

It might not be fair but I’d defy anyone to tell me it’s not accurate. The better off you are, the better education you’ve had, the more education your children are likely to have. It might not be fair, it might not be right, but that’s the way it is.

Also, as a parent, the simple rule is your kids come first. If Ruth Kelly thinks her child will be better off at a fee paying school, and she can send her child there, then she should. She should do what is best for her children.

It does however strongly indicate that Ruth Kelly, despite a stint as Secretary of State for Education and Skills until last year, feels that the state schools under the current Labour government are not adequate for a child with special needs. Her very actions as a parent show she believes the state of the education system in the country run by her government to be inadequate.

So while I can’t criticise her for putting her child first, it does look very much like a slap in the face for the government from one of its own ministers. When you consider she was in charge of education until last year, it looks worrying like Ruth Kelly the parent is telling Ruth Kelly the minister that she’s done an appalling job in looking after the state education system in the UK…

One Response to “Ruth Kelly: Special Educational Needs”

  1. Mina responds:

    I do have a problem with her making that decision. If she were an ordinary parent, fine. You want to opt out of the system becasue you can. Good for you. As the ex education minister, responsible for closing down special schools? I don’t think so. 9000 special school places have been lost under this goverment under the guise of inclusion. For this reason alone she should have sent her son to a state school. If you close down special schools and you force the public to go throught the state system then you should do the same. My son has autism and I’m currently going to tribunal to get him a specialist place. I totally object to her opting out of a system that she has supported and stood up for. If it’s good enough for my son it should be good enough for hers.
    One disgusted parent

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