Parents' anger over centre axing

PARENTS and officials today spoke of their confusion over the axing of a centre for children with learning difficulties in Ipswich, which will close this summer.

PARENTS and officials today spoke of their confusion over the axing of a centre for children with learning difficulties in Ipswich, which will close this summer.

Cliff Lane Learning Centre is being shut in July by Suffolk County Council, despite parents hailing the initiative as a “god send”.

A spokesman for the council said the scheme was only a pilot project, aimed at testing out new teaching methods before implementing them into mainstream schools.

The spokesman added: “The whole purpose of putting the project there was because it was a test bed.

“It was a success and the success can now be transferred into mainstream schools.

“The project has helped us to understand how best to help children with dyslexia.”

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However, Martin Goold, the Suffolk secretary for the National Union of Teachers branded the move as another example of the county council closing facilities for children with special needs.

He said: “What is of great concern is that the authority has let the school down by not making referrals to the centre and it's now closing because there are not enough pupils at the unit for it to be viable.

“It's quite clear that there was never any real intention to make it work.”

Parent Emma Murray, whose seven-year-old son Alfie goes to the centre, said: “When my son started there in 2006 he couldn't read or write but he's up to stage seven now, which is the right level for a child of his age.”

Karen Green, of Reynolds Road, has two children, Dennis, eight, and Sian, seven, at the centre. Both suffer from dyslexia.

She said: “You wouldn't believe the confidence in them since they've been there. The centre is a god send.

“I suffer from dyslexia and I never received help at school. I was just treated like a stupid, lazy child.

“I'm petrified they will go through what I did.”

Are you concerned at the axing of the centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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