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Teachers in British Columbia are pleased to see that recommendations in the Amanda, Savannah, Rowen, and Serena: From Loss to Learning report released today by the Representative for Children and Youth underscore the need for service providers to work together to protect vulnerable students.

“Teachers share the concern for the safety and well-being of the students represented in this report,” says Susan Lambert, first vice-president of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. “We applaud the Representative for Children and Youth for bringing these important issues to the public. Unfortunately, many schools and many communities have seen their resources and services cut so drastically they will find it hard to provide increased communication and liaison.”

Students with special needs are not being well served by the provincial government. The number of classes in 2007–08 with four or more students with special needs grew by almost 8% over last year. This school year 10,313 classes had four or more students, compared to 9,559 in 2006–07. In addition, there are still over 3,000 classrooms in British Columbia with more than 30 students enrolled.

“We know we must respond to the critical needs of children in care and we welcome the recommendations in Ms. Turpel-LaFond’s report,” says Lambert. “Often children in care have special learning needs that require extra attention. It is becoming increasingly difficult to attend to every child when classes are too large and too needy.”

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For more information, contact Kathleen MacKinnon, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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