There has been uproar over the unexpected closure of the Royal School For The Deaf in Margate with many people calling for its reopening. But NIGEL UTTON, until recently head of Bromstone Primary School in Broadstairs, takes a different view
I’m afraid I won’t be signing any petitions about saving the Royal School for the Deaf.
When I was a head-teacher in Thanet, my school had close links with the Royal School, as we did with all the special schools. My staff and children learned British Sign Language and we welcomed many BSL users into the school.
My school was recognised as the most inclusive school in Kent. We did our best to cater for all children’s needs whether they were physical, psychological, intellectual, social, racial, religious, sensory or gender issues.
I know some of you swapped your children from other schools because of my school’s welcoming reputation. The teachers at the Royal School were doing a wonderful job from what I saw and have amazing skills.
I just don’t believe that in the 21st century there is any need for segregated education.
Their skills should be used in all schools. Our society gets better when our children learn to love each other by being together, not segregated.
Kent is probably one of the least inclusive counties with its dreadful selective system at age ten, which is why the battle for fully inclusive education here, with a grossly unfair funding system eventually defeated me.
Despite this at Bromstone we proved that it can be done and it is a wonderful thing.
This is what I think our Labour Party should be fighting to establish.
So count me out of the campaign to save the Royal School for the Deaf