The impact of the Disability Discrimination Act Part 4 on Scottish schools

Ferrie, Joanna M. (2008) The impact of the Disability Discrimination Act Part 4 on Scottish schools. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis aims to highlight the dilemmas within education provision for disabled pupils. This is the product of competing frameworks, coming from different historical and philosophical contexts. The Warnock Report (1978) only managed a partial transition within education for disabled pupils from segregation to inclusion. This midway stage of integration continued the bureaucratic and professional dominance over access to additional support and continued to segregate the most affected pupils despite using humanitarian and equality rhetoric to defend its position. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s this tension led to wide variation in policy interpretation throughout the UK, yet the SEN policy framework went largely unchallenged until the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA, 1995) launched the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, also known as Part 4 in 2001 (DDA, 2001). The DDA attempted to impose a rights-based model of equality on education. The survey data and qualitative in-depth interviews generated by this thesis show that the existing tension fuelled a resistance that has challenged a thorough engagement with the DDA. Further the surveys sent to schools and local authorities suggest that insufficient time was afforded the DDA Part 4 to impact on Scottish schools before new legislation was introduced and ratified in Scottish law (Additional Support for Learning Act, 2004). In-depth interviews exploring the system of complaint under the DDA Part 4 revealed a further tension between impairment effects and social expectations of discipline in schools related specifically to a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or allied conditions. In following the ethos of the social model, this thesis concludes that the DDA Part 4 failed to account for the differentiation of experience within the disabled community, and so offered little support for those most challenged by the pedagogical structures in schools. Based on the findings of this thesis, the DDA Part 4 has had little impact on Scottish schools, due in part to the tension within the competing SEN framework and timing of other policies. In addition inherent flaws within the terms of the DDA Part 4, including the omission of auxiliary aids and services from the remit of discrimination, contributed to its failure to impact on Scottish schools.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information:
Keywords: disability, equality, education, social model, capabilities approach, social policy
Subjects: J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Watons, Prof Nick
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Mrs Joanna M. Ferrie
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-415
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:18

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