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Guide to challenging students backed

A NEW guide to teaching disaffected youngsters has been hailed as "one of the most useful handbooks imaginable" by a leading authority on learning difficulties.

Students who Challenge the System, a 30-page booklet produced by Lewisham College, outlines ways of helping students in further education with emotional or behavioural problems.

John Tomlinson, chair of the committee on learning difficulties, said it provided a practical guide to tackling the "malign effects" of social exclusion. "I urge it upon colleges and schools," he said.

The booklet includes detailed guidance on effective college systems, teaching and learning strategies, sources of support, good practice and real-life case studies. It is the result of co-operation between Lewisham, Blackburn and Enfield colleges, Schoolhouse, an organisation for school phobics, and the Future Options Project, for black students who have been excluded from school.

The booklet began life in response to a request from neighbouring Bromley education authority, who were looking for materials to train staff to work with reluctant learners.

"What we discovered was that there was no training provision that we could find to support FE teachers working with disaffected students, which are a priority group, certainly in this area," said Lewisham vice principal Richard Chambers. "We hope colleges will use it as part of their programme of continuing professional development."

Students Who Challenge the System is available from Richard Chambers, vice principal of Lewisham College, priced Pounds 20 + Pounds 1 postage and packing. Tel 0181 694 3228.

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