A city that cares

18th February 2005 at 00:00
It was with some incredulity and extreme concern that I read your report last week, "Glasgow is top segregator." I will not comment on the specific statements attributed to Richard Reisser, but I must correct the flawed image in the report which portrays the authority as being negligent in its duty to support children and young people with additional support needs.

I am also seriously disappointed that the article was published without any prior contact with the education department to cross-reference the information.

Glasgow City Council has a very robust inclusion policy, clearly articulated in our published policy document SEN Policy Provision. Our practice is based on the definition of inclusion as entitlement of access to facilities and learning environments best suited to the needs of the individual. It is a principle which has been widely welcomed by parents, pupils and professionals.

The council's commitment is clearly evidenced in the annual investment in additional support needs - for example, the integrated pre-12 campuses which will house mainstream and complex learning difficulties schools; the building of a new school for children with significant sensory impairment at a cost of over pound;6 million which will address need on a national level; the creation of 58 nurture classes within mainstream primaries at a cost of pound;2.6 milion; additional investment in peripatetic services, psychological services; support assistants; speech and language therapy.

There are excellent examples of collaborative working between the mainstream and SEN sectors in support of pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, communication disorder, language impairment and language disorder.

These service developments are supported by a unique approach to staff development which will ensure that all our senior managers in mainstream are fully conversant with national and local policy and the implications related to implementation. To my knowledge, Glasgow City Council is unique in making this commitment.

I sincerely hope that The TES Scotland will provide an opportunity for the authority to be profiled under a much more positive and accurate headline in the near future.

Councillor Steven Purcell ConvenerEducation Services Committee Glasgow City Council

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