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Last Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Autistic pupils' playtime boost
children playing
Staffing shortages resulted in the children being kept inside
Parents in Wick have welcomed moves to tackle staffing problems which prevented their autistic children playing outside during break time.

In March Highland Council was forced to undertake a review after it was revealed a lack of supervision meant the children were being kept indoors.

Since then extra cover at the Caithness Early Years Autism Centre has enabled 21 pupils to take their breaks outside.

The local authority has also placed an advert for a teacher and support staff.

Staff pressure

Parents in the area feared the lack of staff at the centre could hinder their children's chances of being integrated into mainstream education when it was revealed that the authority had also placed curbs on outings.

At the time Highland Council said the outings could place too much pressure on the limited number of staff.

But following representations made by the Caithness Parents' Autism Support Group, the education authority says it has now taken steps to increase resources at the centre.

Established in 2000 to allow the youngsters to be educated within their local community, the centre provides support to children between the ages of four and eight.

Play worry over autistic children
14 Mar 07 |  Highlands and Islands


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