Book: Worth Saving

This book contains the first detailed study on the experiences of disabled children in England during the Second World War. It examines the lives of those who were evacuated into residential special schools within the reception areas and compares their experiences with others who, for various reasons, were not evacuated, who returned home early, or who spent time in hospital. Through the use of official documents, newspapers and personal testimony the book shows that for many disabled children the evacuation was a positive experience but one which depended largely on the attitudes of the authorities and of the general public, and perhaps more importantly, the attitudes and quality of the teaching and nursing staff, who were responsible for the children on a daily basis. The book reveals how the government evacuation scheme worked for certain groups of disabled children and how it failed those most vulnerable. Worth saving serves as a social commentary of a time when attitudes towards disabled people in general were changing, and demonstrates the impact that wartime conditions had on special education both during and after the war. It introduces a new area of research to a range of disciplines including Disability History, Childhood, Social Policy, Special Education, the Voluntary Sector, and the Second World War/Evacuation and is written in a style that is accessible both to academics and to the general reader.