Have you noticed

4th February 2000 at 00:00
AS A member of a support group, I spend a lot of time listening to parents of children with Asperger syndrome in mainstream schools. I wish just once someone would have a good word to say about governors.

Integration is never going to be easy for autistic children, who by definition have difficulties with communication and social interaction.

Parents often feel that the school is unsympathetic, expecting the child to change rather than adapting the

environment. It is rather as if the school accepted a blind child on

condition that he tried really hard to see.

Parents struggling to get inormed support complain to the local education authority. They are referred back to the governors, who, invariably it seems, close ranks firmly behind the headteacher.

Many parents do not even approach the governing body, knowing that the headteacher is its dominant member - the accused has a casting vote on the jury. Parents seem unaware of complaints procedures - certainly the school does not tell them. Governors are only really involved when a child is excluded.

Of course we need to support the staff, but our first duty is to ensure high-quality education for all children. Must try harder.

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