Successes without segregation

17th November 1995 at 00:00
I must take issue with the sentiments of Trevor Easton as expressed in "Integration policy under strain" (TES, November 3).

In extolling the virtues of Cumbria's integration policy he states as an example a boy with cerebral palsy gaining GCSEs and A-levels and going on to college, saying: "If he had remained separate and distinct in special school he would have been lovingly cared for but would never have developed such skills."

What uninformed and arrogant nonsense! Special schools may have been like that in Cumbria and, if so, I am delighted that they were closed down. At my school for the physically disabled, and I am sure in many other similar schools, pupils are gaining such successes on a regular basis. Indeed we are frequently picking up the casualties of the mainstream sector and yes, with loving care, but mainly by a well-structured, exciting and challenging curriculum, are achieving enormous success.

Please do not let us get back to the wearied integration-versus-segregation debate, but let us look at the needs of the child and acknowledge that both mainstream and special school have a vital role to play.

CLIVE E LILLEY

Blackfriars School Priory Road Newcastle under Lyme

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