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 Westminster

Children from around the country put MPs on the spot on Tuesday in their own version of Question Time. 

Yesterday, 12:10 am

Almost 50 young people with different health conditions quizzed MPs about improving support in schools.

The panel, chaired by BBC presenter Jon Sopel, included shadow minister for children, schools and families Tim Loughton; Annette Brooke, Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on children, schools and families; Dr Sheila Shibram, national clinical director for children; and Jim Cunningham MP, who put forward the Schools Health Support Bill as his private Members bill in May.

Amber, a primary school pupil who has diabetes, asked why proper training on her condition isn’t given to teachers, who have often shouted at her for eating in class when she is hypoglaecemic.

On one occasion she was told to get out of the class, despite the fact that she was unable to move and the teacher had been warned of her condition.

Annette Brooke said that as a former teacher, the thing she feared most was a child having an asthma attack in her class.

She said it highlighted the importance of school nurses, who could support pupils and offer advice to teachers.

Answering a question on provision of support for pupils with Asperger’s syndrome, Tim Loughton said that his first surgery appointment as an MP was with a 15 year-old boy who had the condition and was experiencing problems with his school.

“The problem is this government has closed down too many special schools for children with Asperger’s who want this kind of supportive environment,” he said.

“This was clearly a mistake.”

There was applause for a teenage ME sufferer who asked why he was only entitled to five hours’ home tuition a week due to his illness, when a pupil who was excluded for bad behaviour would be entitled to 10 hours.

Hannah, from the charity Young Mind, was also concerned that there was no mention of mental health on the curriculum, despite figures showing one in ten people will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime.

Source:   http://uk.news.yahoo.com/11/20091029/tpl-mps-answer-to-children-at-special-qu-0a1c1a1.html



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