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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 19:43 GMT
Mothers' plea for behaviour help
Boys are more likely to have behavioural problems
A group of mothers has called for secondary schools to provide more help with their children's behavioural problems.

Sarah Lamont and her co-campaigners are concerned that pupils in Southampton who have attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) are suffering from a lack of appropriate care.

Her 12-year-old son had threatened staff and attempted to kill himself, she said.

Southampton City Council assigned him to a special school for two terms, four years ago.

He was returned to a mainstream school after it was decided he had made enough progress to be taught there.

'Can't cope'

However, the boy's behaviour worsened again and he now takes medication to control his moods.

I'm not asking for children to be locked up, but if they are to make progress, it has to be with the appropriate backing
Mother
Mrs Lamont said: "Some special needs children can cope with mainstream schools without it being to their detriment or that of those around them.

"But for some children, there is no point having them traumatising themselves and others."

Mrs Lamont wants her son's school to provide a special needs unit to cope with potentially disruptive behaviour.

She said: "It's unfair on an ordinary teacher to have to deal with a class of, say, 28 pupils, where one child is being disruptive to this degree.

Petition

"I'm not asking for children to be locked up, but if they are to make progress, it has to be with the appropriate backing to ensure they are not violent or disruptive."

Mrs Lamont and several other mothers whose children have ADHD have formed a group to pressurise the council to expand special provision. They have also started a petition.

The NASUWT, Britain's second-largest teachers' union, is backing their case.

Its executive officer for Southampton, Ron Clooney, said: "The council needs to provide appropriate funding for an appropriate level of care.

"We are in favour of inclusion wherever it is viable, but for these kids mainstream school is not suitable.

"It may seem expensive to educate children in classes of six or seven, but if you leave some children in a mainstream class of up to 30, the level of teacher abuse and disruption makes it impossible to work."

A Southampton City Council spokesman said: "Separate unit provision for children with special educational needs is available in mainstream primary schools in Southampton and these services are currently being developed further.

"We would need to undertake further consultation and investigation into whether unit provision at secondary stage is required and viable for these parents' children.

"We always try to provide specialist services in pupils' local schools."


SEE ALSO:
New plan for special needs pupils
11 Feb 04  |  Education
Helping the most troubled pupils
11 Feb 04  |  Education
Boys dominate 'special needs'
29 Nov 02  |  Education
Fears for special needs schools
19 Jan 04  |  Leicestershire


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