‘Proactive steps for inclusion must be made in the face of budget shortfalls’
Several serious concerns have been expressed by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in its most recent round of feedback for the UK. The Committee is the body of 18 independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in all countries and, following each examination, it publishes its Concluding Observations. The Committee has carried out five examinations of the UK since the Convention was ratified in 1991 and on each occasion has urged the UK to create systems of inclusion and belonging for all children. The most recent examination of the UK took place in May 2023 and, in its Concluding Observations published on 2 June, the Committee once again expressed similar concerns.
Children have the right to education
The Committee has said that the UK must “strengthen measures to address inequalities in educational attainment and improve educational outcomes for children in disadvantaged situations.” This includes children from socioeconomic disadvantage, ethnic minority groups, children who have asylum-seeking, refugee, or migrant status, children with impairments, children who identify as trans- or gender-questioning, and children with caring responsibilities.
The report states the UK Government should “Ensure inclusive education in mainstream schools for all [disabled children], by adapting curricula and training and assigning specialised teachers and professionals in integrated classes, so that children with disabilities and learning difficulties receive individual support and due attention.” Proactive steps for inclusion must be made in the face of budget shortfalls, as it appears there have not been many gains on this conclusion since the UK’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child....