Special Education in the United Kingdom: A Case Study of a WHS- Child Mawaddah at Ash-Field Academy Leicester


This paper presents the parents’ observation on the special education provision to Mawaddah, a child with a rare genetic disorder Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome (WHS) that causes multiple disabilities and global development delay to her. During her stay in the UK in year 2015- 2017, Mawaddah was enrolled to Ash-Field Academy in Year 1 and 2. The council-funded school was comprehensively equipped with the necessary facilities and equipment and attended by highly trained teachers to meet the educational needs of the special children. Immediately after her enrolment, Mawaddah underwent various assessments to determine her educational and healthcare needs. Subsequently, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) was proposed for Mawaddah that outlined the expected outcomes from Mawaddah’s learning process, the approaches and interventions in teaching, the facilities and equipment required, as well as the relevant parties responsible for the provision of educational and health care needs and other support such as the school transportation service. Overall, the parents’ opined that this was an example of a success story of highly accessible and top quality special education in the United Kingdom. The reasons behind this success are mainly the integrated system between the National Health Services (NHS), the Department for Education (DfE) and the local authorities, a clearly spelled-out guidelines and codes of practice to cater to the educational needs of special children, and the incredible commitment from relevant parties responsible for the provision of educational, health and care needs of such children. To conclude, the policy and infrastructure for education and healthcare support for special children in the UK were absolutely state of the art, indicating a highly accessible and top quality special education in the country. Policymakers in Malaysia could learn so much from the UK in crafting the special education policies in line with the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.


Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, special education, developed country, Ash-Field Academy, Leicester


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DOI : https://doi.org/10.32698/GCS-04325