This relates to the performance of the play at the New End Theatre, Hampstead from 8 March until 3 April.
Inclusion– when did it all begin? On Monday, 7 October 1976, in a debate in the House of Lords on an Education Bill. That day a new clause, although criticised and withdrawn earlier in the year, was reintroduced in a slightly different form. It required Local Education Authorities to educate most children with special educational needs in mainstream schools instead of special schools.
At that time the policy had not been researched nor costed, and was opposed by many disability organisations and by the National Union of Teachers, but it nevertheless passed into law.
Since then the myth has been propagated that the Warnock Report issued two years later in 1978 shaped the policy of Inclusion. In fact a small unrepresentative pressure group, in a debate lasting no more than 41 minutes in the Upper House, had succeeded in pre-empting that report, and changed the face of special education for over thirty years.
Alan Share sums it up in these words: “The play is born of the experiences and of the paranoia of things that I have seen. I write it as a tragedy, which I believe it is. I hope that I do not give too much away if I say that there are no individual heroes or heroines in the play, and no individual villains either. All the characters are in one way or another victims or casualties of a system that has somehow lost its way. They are all human, and at the heart of the tragedy, is human frailty which always seems to bedevil the best of notions. If there is a hero, it is Brighouse School itself, and Tracy who tells its story. I have given her the last word, and it is right that she should have it.”
Brighouse School through the eyes of Tracy, one of its pupils. Meet the Head teacher, Margaret Williamson, the English Teacher, John Errington, pupils, staff and parents and also those who wanted to close the school. Enjoy music lessons with the charismatic music teacher, Emma Kirk.
Can Margaret and John's love survive? What is it like for all those involved when a good school is closed?
Pupils from Oak Lodge Special School, East Finchley acted alongside professional actors.