Right Not a Fight 2016 – Information for all!

Students and staff sit and stand on some steps opposite houses of Parliament, there are some trees and a grass area behind them. Back row – left to right – RNC Charity Director Lucy Proctor, Liam, Mike, Ewan, RNC Principal Mark Fisher and RNC Governor Kyle Phillips. Bottom row – left to right – Hayden, Tiri, Maisy, Digital Media Officer Bik Lee and Ben.

On Thursday 16 June 2016 a group of our students and staff at RNC (Royal National College for the Blind) travelled down to Westminster to make their voices heard in support of the Right Not a Fight campaign. Joining other Natspec colleges, our students protested in a call for fair access to education, regardless of SEN (Special Educational Need).

 

Hayden, from Wolverhampton, said “I loved being able to protest on Cameron’s doorstep!” All of the students and staff stood opposite the Houses of Parliament, proudly wearing ‘Right not a Fight’ branded t-shirts which said ‘Information for all’; the theme for this year’s campaign. We stand by Natspec’s aim which demands that every young person should receive advice about their options for further education, including specialist provision. Ben from Rotheram was very vocal during the day and was definitely one of the loudest! He said “I think we got our message across”, and Liam from Newham adds “It was a really good day but just one step on the road of this campaign trail.”

 

Over 100 students turned up from different specialist colleges across the country and Mike from Bury St Edmunds said “There was overwhelming support from other students and colleges which shows such strong passion for the campaign, which ultimately wants to achieve equality for all.” Ewan from Barking, who finishes at RNC this summer, said “It was a really worthwhile trip and nice to have support from the public; a good way of finishing my time at RNC.” A representative from each college was able to stand up to address the crowd and Maisy’s key message from RNC was “It isn’t our disability that holds us back; it’s the people who make the decisions.”

A group of students and staff stand at the roadside with the houses of Parliament in the background. Left to right – Liam, Mike, Ewan, Ben, Governor Kyle Phillips, Tiri, Digital Media Officer Bik Lee, Hayden, RNC Principal Mark Fisher and Maisy

Left to right – Hayden, Mike, Ewan, Ben, RNC Governor Kyle Phillips, Tiri, RNC Digital Media Officer Bik Lee, Hayden, RNC Principal Mark Fisher and Maisy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RNC’s Chair of the Student Representative, Tiri, said “I think it’s important that people get to speak up and can put forward their points of view, but they can only do this if they are given the right information in the first place.” RNC Student Recruitment Manager Tim Broome thinks that the high turnout for the protest was due to the fact that students can really relate to the campaign. “So many students here today know what it’s like to fight for things. We are hoping that this campaign will enable young people with SEN to be given information about all of their options for Further Education. Specialist education isn’t right for everyone but it should be up to young people to explore the option and be able to decide whether it is right for them or not; they should be able to have the necessary information to make an informed choice.”

 

Please sign the petition to give SEN learners more guidance on their future choices

If you are a young person with visual impairment and are interesting in finding out more about studying at RNC, please call our friendly student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk

 

Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC