Tuesday, 8 March 2016


Continuing public debate

From Schrëtt fir Schrëtt's Facebook page, the final score –

Avec ce que nous avons remis à la poste aujourd’hui et ce qui se trouve online, nous avons le total record de 13 200 signatures. Bravo et merci à tous!!!!!

This says that Schrëtt fir Schrëtt has collected a total of 13,200 signatures to support its petition to hold a debate in the Chambre of Deputies. Most of those who signed the petition chose to do so by means of the handwritten text. And hooray and thank you to everyone.

Newspaper report

Schrëtt fir Schrëtt's campaign has achieved national prominence. On Monday the French-language newspaper l'Essentiel reported this latest development under the headline 'A public debate will be held on disability at school'.

The report begins with brief introduction to the main points of the story so far and indicates that access to private schools for children with disabilities or special needs will be publicly debated in the Chambre in the coming weeks

This has been validated by a number of people that is well above the minimum threshold of 4,500 required to trigger a public debate in the Chambre . This result exceeded Schrëtt fir Schrëtt's expectations.

Marco Schank, president of the Petitions Committee, tells the newspaper –

The timing of this debate will be known within a fortnight

Meanwhile, the future of the association remains to be settled. The Ministry of Education has indeed indicated that the approval granted to Schrëtt fir Schrëtt will not be extended beyond 14 September 2016, before the next school year. The state subsidy (383 thousand euros in 2016) will not be renewed. The Ministry tells the paper –

The Private Schools Act does not allow private organizations to offer differentiated instruction

The battlefield

It remains unclear on what ground this battle will be fought.
  • Will it be 'research', or 'inclusion', 'costs', or what? 
  • What arguments be put forward for the multi-disciplinary alternative? 
  • Will the actual reasons for the Ministry's position come up for scrutiny? 
  • How do the 'professionals' stand on this?
  • How informed, how well briefed will the Deputies be? 
  • What will be the influence of the media and public opinion upon the Deputies' votes?
L'Essential links to its previous coverage of the topic in February of this year when the issue had just arrived in the public arena:

Particularly interesting in this are the 55 readers' Comments that this story subsequently attracted. For and against (and there are legitimate contrary positions to be put) they do not cover any of my above points! They are essentially pragmatic. The recent report has attracted few Comments of its own as yet.

However this battle is fought and whatever its outcome, the next stage of CE's struggle in Luxembourg could prove instructive for people everywhere with concerns for future public policy in their own countries.


– (2016) Un débat public aura lieu sur le handicap à l’école, L'Essential, 7 March

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