chapter  4
14 Pages

The rise and impact of the parental lobby: including voluntary groups and the education of children with learning difficulties or disabilities

ByAlice Paige-Smith

I see, firstly, the difficulties surrounding the development of the concept of partnership between parents and professionals as inevitably stemming from the unequal power relationships between these two groups, with education policy and practice restricting the rights of parents to participate in decision-making surrounding special education provision. Secondly, I go on to describe the attempt by parents to understand and manage the procedures which have led to the formation of groups which support and inform parents. This will be explored through the perspectives of parents involved in four voluntary groups. These parents set up these groups in order to counteract their isolation, to express a ‘collective voice’ and to secure resources for their children for either integration or special school.