Headlines: October 5th, 2009

A dozen young people with disabilities have launched a nationwide consultation in more than 20,000 state-run schools. The children are working with the mobility charity Whizz-Kidz to seek the views of other disabled youngsters.

They will be using a confidential questionnaire to try to get a picture of modern school life, both inside and outside the classroom, for disabled pupils and students. The detailed survey was conceived and created by the young people themselves. They are all aged between 13 and 18, sit on the charity’s Kidz Board and advise on key issues.

The survey will cover questions about accessibility and issues such as bullying, respect and attitudes. The project has the backing of the Department for Children, Schools and Families which has circulated the questionnaire in a regular e-mail to all schools.

The 15-year-old chair of Kidz Board, Jamie Green, said the results of the consultation could inform future policy and practice in education to improve the lives of disabled young people.”We urge all teachers to encourage pupils to fill out the survey honestly and anonymously. Only then can we see the areas that are working great, and those that may need improving upon,” he said.

The charity hopes to receive raw results in late November, and will then present the findings formally to the DCSF on December 10th.