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Scotland's councils want to see the mainstreaming of children with special ...
Scotland's councils want to see the mainstreaming of children with special

educational needs where appropriate for that childs' individual development

the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said today.

Commenting on an Audit Scotland reportCosla's president Pat Watters said:

'The needs of the child clearly must come first and where appropriate we

would want to see mainstreaming. It may take a while but there is certainly

no unwillingness on the part of councils to this change.

'We welcome the auditor general's comment that it is 'essential that the

financial consequences of all legislation, including amendments, are

analysed and considered carefully by parliament'. Neither parliament, nor

the executive nor local authorities have any desire to implement a

particular policy without good information about the likely financial


'Also, the comments about mainstreaming only working when pupils and

teachers are properly supported are important.

'We are already working in partnership with the executive on the school

estates strategy and hopefully that will provide a route whereby the

'building capacity for inclusion' recommendations' in the report can be


'The needs of individual children vary enormously, so the provision of

school accommodation that meets all these needs can be difficult - even in a

new build situation. We would expect to be fully funded for all additional


Mr Watters continued: 'There needs to be a recognition that

mainstreaming may not be the best route for all children with SEN - what is

key is the provision of appropriate education for the individual child - and

the report could have given this greater prominence.

'In summary, the report raises iss ues which typify much of what a local

authority does for much of its time in a far from ideal world - balancing

competing priorities against a restricted budget in meeting the differing

needs of disparate client groups whilst recognising that there will

inevitably be some disappointment.'

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