We will defend special needs schools in Greenwich

Today Alistair Craig placed his support behind a series of new Conservative policies to protect Greenwich's special educational needs schools. Across the country, special schools are closing because of laws introduced by Labour in 2001. . Under the new Conservative proposals, there will be a moratorium on any future closures and parents will be given more choice to send their children to mainstream schools or special schools.

Under the current system, many children are being let down and are inappropriately placed in mainstream schools because:

• the current law lacks balance, favouring mainstream schools,
• the number of places at special schools has fallen as some special schools have closed,
• the assessment process is highly complex and not trusted by parents, and
• parents and teachers are not given the information and guidance that they need.


To address these problems, a future Conservative Government will:

1. End the presumption in favour of mainstream education by changing the law. We want parents to choose the right school for their child.


2. Impose a moratorium on the closure of special schools. It is in the interests of all pupils that we do not lose the skills and expertise in our special schools.

3. Provide better information and guidance for parents and teachers, to ensure that all children’s needs will be assessed and met to a common standard.

4. Improve the choice for parents. No child is the same, so parents need to have a choice of approaches.


Alistair, the Conservative Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich explained, “I value the work of Greenwich's special schools – such as Waterside, but Greenwich council is signed up to Labour’s agenda for inclusion at all costs, meaning special schools here are under threat.

“Parents want to keep these schools open because they understand how good they are for their children. Parents value the expertise and experience of the teachers. Whilst mainstream schools may be right for some pupils, they are not right for all. Parents must have the choice of specialist provision where that is in their child’s best interest.

“A Conservative Government will provide parents in Greenwich with a real choice for their children. We will remove the presumption in favour of mainstream education, give parents and teachers guidance and information on the support that is right for children, and introduce a moratorium on the closure of special schools.

“People have a clear choice: good quality special needs education with the Conservatives or a system that continues to fail many of our most vulnerable children under four more years of Mr Blair.”