On the 24th of October, 16 of our grassroots campaigners from across the UK headed down to London to attend an APPG Global Education for All event at Parliament. The event coincided with the release of the Global Partnership for Education (GCE) UK report, Equality and Inclusion for All in Education, which indicated that not enough was being done to ensure that marginalised children get an education. For our grassroots, the event was an opportunity to meet with Paralympians speaking at the event, hear their stories and highlight the importance of inclusive education to their MPs.
Three Paralympians – Sarah Storey, Anne Wafula-Strike and Ade Adeptian – spoke at the event, sharing personal accounts of how education has made a difference in their lives and why it is so important to include disabled children in educational programmes. Many of their stories were both funny and moving, highlighting the challenges that children living with disabilities face, but also what disabled children can achieve with the right support and opportunities.
The talks were followed by a Q&A session with the Paralympians and Sunit Bagree from Sightsavers, co-author of the GCE UK report. RESULTS UK campaigners made a great contribution to the session, asking relevant and interesting questions, which helped further discussion on key issues surrounding education and disability.
Our grassroots then had the opportunity to meet with Sarah, Anne and Ade at a lunch reception. Many used this opportunity to ask further questions or get a photo with one or all of the Paralympians. All of the photos from the day can be viewed on the RESULTS UK Facebook page.
Following the event, our grassroots headed down to Parliament’s Central Lobby to discuss the importance of inclusive education for disabled children with their MPs and hand them a copy of the GCE UK report. This was a huge success! Five of our grassroots campaigners managed to secure face to face meetings with their MPs; 4 met with their MP’s researcher; and the rest left messages for their MPs and are waiting on replies. Bristol’s RESULTS group had a particularly successful day, meeting with MPs from two constituencies in the city. Both MPs were receptive to the issue and agreed to write to Lynne Featherstone MP, Minister for International Development, calling on her to ensure that all UK aid to education is inclusive of children with disabilities.