Save Schools of Hope; PARTIES UNITE TO PROTECT SPECIAL EDUCATION FOR DISABLED CHILDREN
Byline: ELIZABETH QUIGLEY
THE Government came under pressure last night to reaffirm its commitment to seven schools which provide specialist education for Scotland's disabled children.
Opposition parties were united following a report which has led to fears over the future of the grant-aided institutions.
These include the famous Royal School for the Blind and Donaldson's College for the Deaf in Edinburgh and East Park Home in Glasgow.
Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie has asked Education Minister Sam Galbraith to make a statement on the report, which recommends radical changes in the way the schools are funded.
The Scottish Daily Mail revealed yesterday how the future of these establishments for children with special needs had been thrown into doubt following a report by Professor Sheila Riddell of Glasgow University.
It recommended ending central Government grants. The move, according to Professor Riddell's report, would save [pounds sterling]7million a year.
That money, she says, should be shared out instead among local authorities to pay for places at the schools. But educationalists fear the authorities, who run their own special needs schools, may not choose to spend the extra cash on the grant-aided establishments. …