Tale of the abnormal

October 4, 1996

In "Colleges face rebel swell" (THES, September ) Graeme Hill is quoted as saying that "because of the Care in the Community Act, people are presenting themselves at the college who may not display normal behaviour".

There is an assumed causal link between the Care in the Community Act and behaviour and a disquieting reference to "normal" behaviour. Such a sweeping comment does little to support and encourage those who have done so much innovative and successful work in supporting students with mental health problems. I am also interested in the concept of "normality". Which of us is "normal"? What assessment criteria are we using?

Liz Foster Senior lecturer in inclusive education Bolton Institute

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