Letter: Hospital schools

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The Independent Online
Sir: I support the views of Dr Brian Jacobs of the Maudsley Hospital (Letters, 8 May). The issues he raises are national. Hospital schools do not fit easily into the pattern of education provision.

I know from personal experience what remarkable schools and teachers are hidden away in hospitals all over the country. They provide a great deal more than the maintenance of continuity of education for children who have a medical condition, though this would be sufficient justification. The children's educational achievements are positively therapeutic. This is education of the whole child, and for many it marks a new beginning.

The national curriculum provides the framework but the work is tailored to the individual. Enlightened authorities such as Leicestershire draw on the skills and experience of these teachers to meet the needs of a variety of pupils with challenges which include the psychiatric.

Children such as those at the Bethlem and Maudsley School are to be found in hospital schools all across the country. Education authorities should be supported in their provision for these children who have a clear entitlement under the law.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID INGRAM

Director

Norham Foundation Centre

University of Wolverhampton

Walsall, West Midlands

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