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#Icantgotoschool: Platform gives voice to those suffering from school exclusion in France

In France, the “right to school” for all children is enshrined in law. That’s unfortunately not a reality. This year again, as every year, children with disabilities do not have access to schools like others, even though their needs are known. Due to a lack of space in ordinary or specialised schools, the default solution for children with disabilities is either no school at all, or educational institutions that are no longer appropriate, providing only partial schooling, and inadequate for their needs.

Therefore, Unapei and its partners launched a new campaign called #jaipasecole (in English: #Icantgotoschool) aiming to reveal the situations of children with intellectual disabilities who cannot attend school and whose school journey is often a source of exclusion and loss of opportunity to improve their skills.

They created a platform marentree.org which collects testimonies to highlight the recurrent realities of partial or total exclusion from the education systems of children with disabilities. All those who suffer from this reality, parents, students, educational professionals are encouraged to testify and share their experiences. With this website, families without an adapted solution to their educative needs can be heard! In the end, the testimonies collected on marentree.org will be a powerful way to reveal France’s shortcomings.

One parent wrote :
“Our daughter has been in a specialised school for 3 years, 50 km away from our home. This year, the region does not pay for both trips anymore, so we have to pick up our kid after school at our own expenses. We can’t afford that, so withdrawing our child from school is the only solution as long as the region is not helping us to pay the trips. We are already overly indebted so she can go to school.”

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