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Silence has been deafening

In the euphoria over increased curricular flexibility in primary schools, has anyone thought about the implications for special education?

If the rationale underlying the abandonment of a broad curriculum is to spend more time on basic skills, then this applies to an even greater extent to pupils with moderate and severe learning difficulties than to primary pupils.

Teachers have felt uneasy about the tokenistic imposition of subjects, particularly for pupils with profound and complex needs, but have welcomed the diversity and broadening of experience, as well as the links with the mainstream that the national curriculum has brought. What are they supposed to do now?

A commitment was given in the Green Paper last year to consider the implications for special needs of any major policy initiative, yet the silence has been deafening. The national curriculum was introduced without any consideration of the needs of the learning disabled - now it seems likely to be taken away without consultation.

NICOLA GROVE

Clinical Communication Studies City University London EC1

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