A vision for special needs

Elaine Dwyer, Deputy head, Clifford Holroyde Special School, Knotty Ash.

We have proposals to take Clifford Holroyde from a special school to a centre of expertise in five years. The plan is that there will be three centres of expertise like this in Liverpool.

They will offer primary schools 25 permanent places and 50 part-time flexible places for children with behavioural problems. When fully operational, they will admit pupils through a variety of methods - a telephone call will be sufficient in the first instance.

All key stage3 children will be known to us. All admissions work will be done in mainstream schools and links with those schools will not be lost.We will create a contract between the mainstream school, the centre and parent and that will say what each of them will offer. I hope the centre will have a designated teacher who will work with parents.

A typical day for a full-time pupil will be something like: 8am - breakfast, 9am to lunch - numeracy and literacy, afternoon - art and music, evening - proficiency cycling tests, and trampolining. Their whole day will be structured.

Part-time pupils will have individual timetables negotiated between school, parents and centre and they will also use after-school clubs. All pupils returning to mainstream school will have the support of a centre for a time.

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