Letter: Religious schools

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's article about the state funding of the Guru Nanak Sikh school highlights another area in which this government operates double standards.

There seems to be no reluctance to fund schools which pupils and parents can choose on religious grounds or where pupils can be placed according to aptitude, such as the specialist schools and colleges for arts, drama, music, sport, technology. At the same time our most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils, those with physical, sensory or learning disabilities, are denied placements in special schools.

The educational needs of many severely disabled pupils are being sacrificed to the unthinking, blanket policy of integration in mainstream schools. Special schools have built up a cost-effective, centralised pool of skills and expertise to address both narrow curricular needs and the wider need to teach disabled pupils personal, social and independent living skills.

Many special schools are suffering declining rolls with consequent redundancies and loss of staff skills and morale.

H HEARD

Doncaster, South Yorkshire

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