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Defining ‘A Good Life’ for those with Learning Disabilities

29 Jul 2022|13:23

A new paper from the Ambition Institute and Confederation of School Trusts titled ‘A good life: towards greater dignity for people with learning disability’, argues that the SEND review does not go far enough as it “rests on an outdated medical and deficit model” and that the perceptions of a good life has become “what is valued within education and across society”. The paper proposes two principles to make progress towards people living with greater dignity:

  1. People with learning disability are complete humans.
  2. We need a broader and more ambitious vision of what a good life is.

They call further for more affirmative language used to frame the discussion around SEND, a process that treats all with dignity and respect, a broader definition of ‘success’, and greater understanding in the challenges and variation across all pupils. It further decries the myths of ‘the meritocracy’ system as narrowing the vision of success and reducing social mobility. The paper ends with a call to leaders for action to move the conversation on and tackle these issues at their own level of influence.