Disabled pupil "has won an apology" -having been excluded from party

A disabled pupil who was left out of an end of year party has won an apology from Hampstead School.

Zahrah Manuel, 18, was barred from attending the function onboard a boat on the Thames because it wasn't fitted with wheelchair access.

Made to feel like a second-class citizen, she took her case to a Special Educational Needs tribunal last month and won.

Zahrah, who has cerebral palsy and cannot talk or write but can communicate with her mum Preethi, said: "I was really upset. I'm really happy with the decision. I enjoyed some champagne."...

"You cannot say you are inclusive in name only as a way of getting some kind of kudos. You have to be practising it in everything you do and planning for it."...

Apologising to Zahrah and her family, a Camden Council spokesman said: "The disco is something the school has run for many years, and unfortunately on this occasion it was not possible to book a boat that was fully wheelchair accessible. The school looked to arrange an alternative trip, but Zahrah did not wish to attend.

"Although the Special Educational Needs tribunal felt more could have been done to make the trip accessible it found the school was an inclusive school and did not award any compensation."
(From Hampstead & Highgate Express, 3rd June)


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