PARENTS have hit out at plans to close Glasgow's only residential unit for autistic children.

City council bosses aim to axe the six beds at its Middlefield Residential School in the city's West End, insisting the move is designed to improve its service and isn't a cutback.

But mums and dads of the 36 children at the school – 13 of whom use the residential unit every week – today called for a u-turn. Maureen McClure, of the parent council, said: "We are bewildered as to why the council would think of closing what has been such a successful unit."

Ms McClure's son, Stuart, 15, has Asperger's and attends the school. "He wants to have his say too," she said.

Other parents say the residential unit has trans-formed their children's lives.

Middlefield Residential School has two floors with a self-contained flat with bedrooms for children and a team of carers. Children stay, but not for the entire week.

The council has met parents and offered them alternative provision, including the chance to boost life skills and spend nights away from home throughout the year, not just term-time.

Ms McClure, however, said her son's experiences had always been more positive with the school than social work. Other parents who have contacted the Evening Times made the same point.

Education and social work officials will meet again with affected parents this week.

A spokesman said: "We will work with families to reass-ure them of our continued commitment to supporting and educating the young people. This is not about saving money but giving families the flexibility in their child's personal care.

Staff working at the school are being transferred.