Excitement this week as we are about to launch our ‘upgrade’ to the Richie Barnes Memorial Fund. Richie, our much-loved brother, son and uncle, died in 2009 after a life living with all sorts of disability. Our family are determined to remember all the amazing people who contributed to making his life such a special and happy one.
We’re calling the revised fund ‘Teachability UK‘. It will be a Community Interest Company, centred around inclusive education with an eye on partnerships working across national borders. Got good things going on? Let’s share them, because such excellent practice benefits all, not just those with the apparent ‘disability’.
Sir Ken Robinson is so right on this. Let’s face it, who among us (sounds rather biblical) does not have special needs, in one form or another? Sir Ken went to a special school in Liverpool due to the effects of polio, and quickly learnt that ability should be the defining feature of all people, not their disability.
And if we all have ‘special needs’ then this is to be celebrated – it makes us diverse, different and interesting. The job of a teacher is to find that ability and nurture it.
So that’s why we’ve stressed ‘ability‘ in our company name. A correct inclusive approach does not, through tortuous politically-correct procedures, arbitrarily target those who have less ability, or indeed more ability – it just sees each individual for the potential that exists, and then creates a climate and an environment which allows this to thrive.