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The parent

Carol Boys has a 14-year-old son, Alex, who has Down's Syndrome. She is also chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association. She had intended Alex to go from mainstream primary to secondary school, but after searching unsuccessfully for two years for an integrated place Alex became seriously depressed. The lea recommended Boveridge.

Alex started as a weekly boarder but after a fortnight, he insisted he wanted to stay at weekends too.

Mrs Boys is one of the group of parents who formed the Boveridge House School Trust, which has brought in advisers and benefactors to keep the school going.

The intention is to expand the school - perhaps to open it during holidays and offer riding and horticultural therapy. "It's not just that we want to save this for our kids. The school is such a wonderful resource: it would be a dreadful shame to lose it. But it is also true that these children have been together for a long time. There is this wonderful caring atmosphere; it's like nothing you have ever seen.

"I haven't come across a parent who has been dissatisfied with the school. Alex has made tremendous progress: his reading skills and his self-help skills have come on in leaps and bounds. We believe that it is possible to retain the ethos and comply with DfEE regulations. We have to believe that. We don't have any choice."

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