Gosport children speak out on education for disabled

(l-r) Robert Cook, Jodi Fountain, Alicia Bonas and Alfie Jolliffe with some of the chain. Picture: Sarah Standing (141939-2944)
(l-r) Robert Cook, Jodi Fountain, Alicia Bonas and Alfie Jolliffe with some of the chain. Picture: Sarah Standing (141939-2944)
Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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THERE are millions of disabled children around the world who are missing out on an education.

So to give them support, children from Brune Park Community School in Gosport have built a chain of friends as part of the Send my Friend to School campaign.

The focus of the campaign this year is on disabled children who don’t get the chance to go to school.

Students across Year 7 designed a ‘buddy’ to illustrate the importance of education for all, and made it into a huge 40 metre chain.

Teacher Mark Smith said: ‘Disproportionately disabled children don’t get the chance to go to school because in some societies disability is still looked upon as a major disadvantage and children who are disabled get ignored by their families and don’t get the same sorts of opportunities.

‘I think that struck a chord with our students here at Brune Park.

‘So we’ve made a chain about 40 metres long of these buddies.

‘We are hoping it will be the longest chain made by a school in Hampshire.’

The campaign goes back to 2000 when world leaders vowed to ensure all children around the world could get to school by 2015. At the time there were around 120 million children who didn’t go to school. It’s now it’s around 57 million.

Mr Smith added: ‘I think it’s the sort of thing that children do feel quite strongly about when they see that there are other children around the world who don’t have the same rights as them.’

Alicia Bonas, 12, said: ‘It’s a good idea because it will raise awareness and it’s good that we can get involved in a campaign.

‘Normally campaigns are led by adults but this time we can get involved and we feel like we are making a difference. It was really fun making the buddies and it’s for a good cause so it makes it even better.’

Alfie Jolliffe, 12, added: ‘We had fun making the buddies. We had a chance to help different people in different countries. I think everyone should have that choice to have an education.’