Finger lickin good

30th May 2003 at 01:00
David Henderson reports on the implications for mainstreaming of the findings by HMI and Audit Scotland

Sam Rea has been in the Dumbarton branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken so often he now gets a discount on his favourite lunchtime meal of Crispystrips, John Cairney writes. If it wasn't for the presence of his special needs auxiliary, however, he would not even be able to leave school.

Fourteen-year-old Sam, a third-year pupil in Dumbarton Academy, is able to access not only fast foods but a full curriculum in spite of having a severe visual impairment.

In his recent exams he got the equivalent of six Standard grade Credit passes and is optimistic about doing well in his Highers next session. He is a talented keyboard player and will be adding the drums to his musical repertoire when he does Standard grade music in fourth year.

Margaret Mary Beattie, Sam's auxiliary, accompanies him to subjects such as home economics and chemistry where there are safety considerations. "I can walk out to the blackboard or sometimes the teacher reads to me," he said.

Coursework is available in enlarged print and he has use of specialised facilities in the visual impairment base in the school which caters for visually impaired pupils throughout West Dumbartonshire. He often uses the base when he needs extended time to complete exams.

Vicki McGraw, principal teacher of learning support, described Sam as "a very bright pupil who has taken full advantage of the extensive support available to him". Sam cannot identify any major problems, though he admits to getting a tad irritated when Margaret Mary Beattie is reluctant to pop down to KFC because it is raining.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today