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More special needs pupils in Manx schools

Figure slightly higher in Island

A greater proportion of Manx schoolchildren have special needs than in the UK.

The figures were released by the Department of Education and Children this week, in response to a Tynwald question by Ramsey MHK Dr Alex Allinson.

There are currently just under 2,200 pupils with learning difficulties in Island primary and secondary schools.

In the UK, the figure is 1.2 million.

That equates to 14.4% of the classroom there, and 18.8% here.

Just over 1% of Manx children require the highest level of educational care, and attend one of the 17 schools to be equipped with a dedicated disability unit.

The DEC says it wants to improve the process for identifying special needs, to improve consistency in care.

It adds not all special needs - especially those at the lower end of the scale - are permanent, and with appropriate help, many of those affected can re-enter mainstream education.

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