educational needs where appropriate for that childs' individual development
the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said today.
'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.'