Whose needs come first?
In my daughter's composite P4-P5 class there is a boy who seems to have severe behavioural problems and nearly every day my daughter has a story to tell. This can range from refusing work to kicking the headteacher.
I was so concerned about her lack of progress in the school that I arranged an interview with the headteacher and among other things the subject of the boy's behaviour was raised.
The headteacher informed me that both she and a child psychologist had been so concerned that they had recommended that the boy should attend a special school which would be more able to provide him with a suitable eucation. However, she also stated that was as far as she could take the matter as her hands were tied by the local authority, and the decision is, unofficially, left in the hands of the boy's mother who wishes her son to attend a mainstream school.
It is with interest that I read of the Scottish Executive's intention to make parental choice paramount as, from experience, I have serious concerns about the wisdom of this policy regarding children with behavioural problems, as opposed to learning difficulties or physical special needs.
Disruption to the other children can be considerable and could have a long term effect on their educational achievement.