This film is part of Free

One Per Cent of Us - Children No More

The TV cameras return to Downham School to see what has changed for disabled children since 1966.

Current affairs 1976 45 mins Not rated


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Downham School in Plymouth has extended facilities to accommodate physically disabled children. The school has also adapted and improved their teaching programmes to include language and speech therapy, maths and physical education with one child filmed in 1966, Alison, still at the school. Ian, Lorraine and twins Leslie and Edward were also filmed at Downham and are now working at training centres in Tavistock and Plymouth which provide services for councils. This film shows how disabled people were sent down a pre-determined path of segregated "special" provision from birth to adulthood in the 1960s. Attitudes and policy shifted in the 1980s to provide more community support and inclusive education for disabled children.

Filmed over twenty years three documentaries examine the lives of disabled children. So Many Children (1966) looks at the parents and teachers of disabled children. Children No More (1976) follows the same children into adolescence highlighting changed perceptions around them. One in a Hundred (1986) catches up with the same children in adulthood and explores dependency. Set in the context of changes in governmental policy and the evolving attitudes of society towards the disabled, these films represent a commentary for the way disabled children, disabled people and their families have been treated in general.