Sunday, 20 December 2009

Councils closing special schools

All over the UK, parents are reporting that local councils are closing special schools and pushing the children into mainstream schools. I am all for this move if it means that the mainstream schools would get more funding, more training for staff and other facilities for special children but unfortunately it does not.

Our son starts reception next year and the deadline to fill up our choice of school is fast approaching.

I was reading this article in the Guardian 'I came to see the school as a little corner of paradise' and the writer writes about one special school:
"I came to see the school as a little corner of paradise. The head teacher was a saint whose first question was always, "What does this child need?" and not, "How much will it cost?"

We recently went to our daughter's school and met up with the head teacher. She was really nice but the message we got was that the school did not have the resources and the facilities to deal with autistic children even though they do have some kids. She kept on emphasising that "a special school would be ideal".

We would have liked to send him to the same school as his elder sister but changed our mind after the meeting with the head teacher.

We did talk to people from the Coventry Autism Support Services (CASS) but it's quite funny but they are not allowed to recommend any. We only want some suggestions as to which schools are more ASD friendly. Moreover, there seems to be no way we can find out from the Coventry city council site or any other site regarding the disability policies (including ASD) of the various schools in Coventry. The Ofsted reports doesn't really tell us anything about that aspect of schools.

I am wondering whether it would be a good idea to start a website where parents of autistic children can rate schools in their area with regards to their ASD friendliness.

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