Inclusion checked out

24th September 2010 at 01:00

I read "Ofsted ticks off colleges over time spent teaching SEN students" (September 17) with dismay. Is Ofsted taking into account the practice where special schools with pupils up to 16 transfer those with "moderate" needs to schools providing for people up to 19, but whose main purpose is to provide for profound learning disabilities? These young people should be in their local FE college at 16, not transferred within a special school system "numbers game".

I know of many students who, having arrived at their local FE college, have had wider opportunities. One young man with "Down's Syndrome" now walks to college and nips into Tesco Metro on his way home to shop for his mum, who used to be terrified about how he would cope. He is no longer invisible to society, but a member of the town and college community.

Ofsted praised colleges which had "teams of specialists", but interaction with checkout staff could be a greater sign of success.

Tony Fort M.Ed (Inclusive Education), Blackburn College, Lancashire.

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