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Patronising attitudes

There were two things in the TES of November 4 which made my blood boil!

The first was a letter from AJ Marsden about the inappropriateness of the curriculum for some children: "a potential car mechanic wants to know about cars, not the French Revolution" ("Temporary exclusions are useless"). Does heshe not understand that education is more than job preparation? Forcing children early on to "specialise" will prevent them from experiencing a curriculum which will enable them to develop in a rounded way and may well open doors to the future that pupils thought were closed to them.

The second was an article by Marian Colyer ('How the system has let down Laura", Friday magazine) where she talks about "special" children in specialist provision being nurtured, valued and taught useful things such as cookery... How patronising and demeaning of special schools, which in reality deliver a full curriculum tailored to the needs of the pupils. How insulting also to the many mainstream schools that nurture and value pupils.

Sheila Gibbon

40 Buttermere Road Marden, North Shields

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