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AYRSHIRE special needs school closing - Carers UK Forum

AYRSHIRE special needs school closing

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
i was reading on another forum that in irvine ayrshire they are closing a special school rather than repair it due to costs involved.


myra
No great loss perhaps - the evidence shows that Inclusion - done properly - works better than Exclusion. And its cheaper too - a win -win. My boy isn't special, he just wants to be one of the boys; and sending him to a school with that kind of label would have done him no favours at all. Our kids with disabilities might have low IQs but we don't have to grade them like eggs or deny them the respect from employers that comes from having a CV that shows mainstream education.
Inclusion doesn't work for everyone, Excalibur, and the problems we've had locally with "inclusion" have been around a lack of interest in the mainstream schools (except for the additional funding). Bullying has been rife, too. One primary age girl with autism sat on the "friendship" bench for over a week because the other kids avoided her. The school couldn't cope and kept telling mum there was no problem. She now attends - after appeals and our writing a statement based on all the evidence we'd drawn together - a specialist school where she has gained confidence, learnt more and has friends. In her first week she made more progress than she had at mainstream school in three years. No kidding, and no exaggeration, sadly.
You get bullying in special schools too - lots of it. So thats not a valid argument: surely the answer is to address and eliminate the bullies, not discriminate against their victims by excluding them from going to the same school their brothers and sisters and neighbours go to?
Inclusion really doesnt work in the form it currently takes.
Sadly, most teachers dont have the training or experience required to deal with disability and the many forms it takes.
Schools nowadays are all about targets and measured levels of attainment. Behaviour problems sometimes associated with some disabilities are seen as detrimental to the class enviroment and the teaching of other children.
Many parents are now fighting to have children placed in "specialist" schools having been failed by the local provision.
Inclusion really doesnt work in the form it currently takes.
Sadly, most teachers dont have the training or experience required to deal with disability and the many forms it takes.
Schools nowadays are all about targets and measured levels of attainment. Behaviour problems sometimes associated with some disabilities are seen as detrimental to the class enviroment and the teaching of other children.
Many parents are now fighting to have children placed in "specialist" schools having been failed by the local provision.
Inclusion works deliciously, if done well. So why not train the teachers and work to improve mainstream schools and make them fit for purpose? How can anyone cling on to the forlorn belief that segregation on the grounds of disability is anything other than a form of apartheid? I mean, why not have separate schools for black children in case they are bullied, or because white teachers haven't been trained in black history? Its the same thing, isnt it? Most of the parents i know subscribe enthusiastically to inclusion, and the rest have been put off by negative and untrue scare-mongering.
There is sometimes bullying in special schools: I've seen it. But it's no more prevalent than in mainstream and if anything there is rather less of it. Absolutely we should take on bullies wherever they are.

But it's a nonsense to suggest that every child can be "included" in mainstream school, and has nothing to do with the "apartheid" argument. I can think of kids who cannot manage with crowds of hundreds of other kids to walk past at lesson changeover. Who cannot manage the transition from one classroom to another, or one teacher to another in a different location. Who were completely ignored by their classmates on a good day, and on a bad one, mercilesssly bullied or set up as a fall guy. Every day a nightmare. Another with a bowel disorder was refused permission to go to the toilet. So every kid in the class smelt the loss of control and he was treated as the "dirty" one. No apology from the teacher, no understanding from the school when the complaint went in. How about the school headteacher who "cured" an autistic child by stating the condition didn't exist? The child given colouring to do while the other kids were given "real work" by the teacher?

These are real cases - no scare-mongering, no untruths. Not every child who is included goes through this kind of situation, and many do well, but it should be acknowledged that there are some who need alternatives, and there are some examples of inclusion that are nothing less than authorised torture.
Sorry but it really doesnt work in the vast majority of schools. Perhaps in a few small infant schools where there are one or two children with a disability. To provide the required support for every child with every disability would be impossible.
I worked as a special needs classroom assistant for many years. I totally agree that disabled children should have the same advantages as all chldren. However many disabilities have associated behaviour problems and the schools are unable to provide the specialised support they need.
Agree completely with Charles. Inclusion works in some cases of course - in our village there is a little boy with DS who has joined the reception class very happily. He is fortunate in that he knows almost everyone as he has played with his age group and their older siblings for years and I cannot think of a situation where anyone would be unkind to him. (I would fear for him, though, if he goes on to the huge secondary school in the nearby town later on.) On the other hand my granddaughter, had she lived to that age, would never have been able to keep up as her degree of disability was far greater both mentally and physically. No 'one size fits all' here.
What is easily forgotten because the closure of special schools has been going on for so long is that many provided addtional services, for example, physio, speech therapy, etc., when the special schools were closed these services were not replaced in mainstream leaving many more severely disabled children without the specialist services which they required.

Surely it is not a case of special needs versus mainstream but a case of providing the most appropriate schooling for the individual child, i.e. making sure that there is sufficient mainstream and special needs education available to meet the widely differing needs of children with disabilities, parents should neither have to fight for special needs education nor for inclusion in mainstream, the system should ensure that appropriate schooling is available for all children.