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Special school unit facing axe

PUBLISHED: 18:20 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 July 2010

Miles Jermy

Parents and teachers are fighting to save a centre for children with special educational needs.

The centre at Hillside First School, Bradwell, has been recommended for closure in a review conducted for Norfolk County Council.

Parents and teachers are fighting to save a centre for children with special educational needs.

The centre at Hillside First School, Bradwell, has been recommended for closure in a review conducted for Norfolk County Council.

The proposal was discussed at a meeting this week and is due to be confirmed at the end of the month.

School head Christine Bryant fears the decision would put the future of some of the area's most vulnerable youngsters at risk.

She told the Mercury: “We are all reeling from the shock of this news.

“The unit has been here for about 25 years and over this time has helped and supported many children.

“Where are children with learning difficulties who are in mainstream education going to be placed in the future?

“There are children waiting for places here that we don't know if we will be able to offer them now. They are extremely vulnerable and need specialist care and education to give them skills for life.”

The centre, which employs four staff, was rated as outstanding in the school's most recent report from the education standards watchdog, Ofsted.

Children aged from four to eight with conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cerebral palsy all receive specialist tuition there.

Pam Basire, from Gorleston, fought for three years to find a suitable school place for her five-year-old son, Ryan Warnes, who has autism.

She said: “Ryan has come on in leaps and bounds since starting school. His speech has improved and he is learning to count.

“Hillside was the only school I could find

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