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More support pledged for children with special needs

28/09/2009 Kelly
Schools secretary Ed Balls today announced new measures providing simpler ways to assess children with special needs and addressing teaching issues.

Under the proposals, a new method of educational needs testing is to be trialled alongside a review into whether there are enough teachers trained to assist children with severe learning difficulties.

The review will be conducted by Toby Salt, deputy chief executive of the National College for Leadership of Schools, who recently oversaw a leadership project for rural schools.

In addition, schools with a high rate of exclusion for children with learning difficulties will be urged to look into the issue as a priority.

Launching the initiative, Mr Balls said that while care had improved over the last ten years some areas of concern still remain, such as the fact that children with special needs are eight times more likely to be excluded.

He added that the new measures would help to address the individual needs of pupils early, tackling behaviour issues before they become serious problems.

Written by Charlotte Michaels.

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