Removing the record of needs was not on the agenda

31st January 2003 at 00:00
As an active member of the Record of Needs Alert (RONA) group, can I bring to your attention our opposition to the drastic changes in the Additional Support for Learning Bill published by the Executive, despite the claims it provides significant new powers for parents (TESS, January 17).

I am all for change, but the Executive did not talk about removing the record of needs during consultation, only improvement. MSPs have asked questions of the minister on this subject and they have all got back the same replies - not very much and very weak.

The whole idea of a "co-ordin-ated service plan" to replace the record of needs must be put under scrutiny. Is 10 weeks' consultation enough time to let all 17,000 parents and children know?

The minister has been wheeling out children in wheelchairs and with learning disabilities, but no children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) who make up most of the disabilities. Assessment is a major problem.

How are the teachers going to assess? No duty is put on assessment in the co-ordinated service plan, so how can anyone know what to do with some children?

The minister talks about catching children who would otherwise slip through the net. Many Asperger boys who have slipped through and have been picked up too late for any properly co-ordinated help.

Sunny Docherty Cardowan Drive, Stepps, Glasgow

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