Special pupils need special treatment

PUPILS in special schools in Suffolk have very specific needs which are looked after magnificently while they are in full-time education.But eventually all pupils will leave school and have to find their own way in society - and now the headteachers of three special schools are warning that these youngsters could fall through society's safety net.

PUPILS in special schools in Suffolk have very specific needs which are looked after magnificently while they are in full-time education.

But eventually all pupils will leave school and have to find their own way in society - and now the headteachers of three special schools are warning that these youngsters could fall through society's safety net.

The lack of opportunities for young people with learning difficulties as they leave school is clearly of great concern to their families and teachers.

It is all very well for Suffolk County Council, through its education department, to provide excellent teaching to these youngsters, but if there is nothing for them to go on to when they leave school there will be a huge gap in their lives.


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Youngsters with special needs cannot just be abandoned when they reach 19. They need to continue to feel that they have a role in society.

Yet resource centres and courses that were open to them are now being closed down and there is a real fear that youngsters who have made tremendous progress at school could be left without any help at the end of their formal education.

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Today's warning from the headteachers should act as a wake-up call to social services to ensure that a generation of young people with special needs is not abandoned by the system.

TIMOTHY Cox is today starting an indeterminate jail sentence after being convicted of very serious internet porn offences.

That means he will not be released back into society until the authorities are convinced he is no longer a danger to children or anyone else.

The sickening crimes he committed are rightly reviled by all decent members of society, and the children who were involved in the pictures suffered serious abuse and torture.

There will always be questions about whether anyone with a mind twisted enough to enjoy these kind of images will ever be safe for release.

The authorities must bear that in mind - and also be aware that Cox portrayed himself as a perfectly normal family man until he was finally caught in a long-running police operation.

They must be 110 per cent happy that he is a reformed character before he can be allowed back into society.

WHEN a piece of aircraft fell on to the roof of a cottage near Saxmundham on Sunday it was clearly very frightening for everyone on the ground.

But there must also be big questions about the safety of the aircraft involved - and generally about the maintenance of planes used in the growing aviation industry.

It was, of course, the loss of a tiny screw which resulted in a wheel blow-out and the loss of a Concorde in Paris seven years ago.

That was a disaster which claimed more than 100 lives and ultimately led to the demise of an aviation icon.

With an increasing number of planes in our skies, everyone - passengers or those living under their flightpaths - deserves to know that they are properly maintained and won't shed lumps of metal as they fly.

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