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Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 23:31 GMT 00:31 UK
30m for school disabled access
Wheelchair ramp
Ramps and lifts will improve access for the disabled
Disabled pupils in mainstream schools are to be given extra help with access to classrooms.

The Schools Minister Jacqui Smith has announced 30m to build wheelchair ramps in schools and to improve facilities for children with physical handicaps.

The funding, a slice of the 100m announced for the Schools Access Initiative over the next two years, will provide assistance for an estimated 1,900 schools.

As well as providing ramps, the money will pay for improved access in the form of lifts and stair lifts.

Jacqui Smith
Jacqui Smith says 1,900 schools will receive funds
There will also be extra provision for blind pupils, with braille equipment and computers customised for their use.

Among the schools to receive money will be St Ives Community School which is to be given 100,000 to install a lift in a three storey building, making it more readily accessible to children who have difficulties walking.

In Lewisham, south London, there will be 90,000 to set up a dyslexia support centre which will work with 40 pupils

The funding reflected the government's efforts to improve the standards of education available to pupils with special needs, said the minister.

Under its campaign for "social inclusion", the government has pushed for an increasing proportion of special needs pupils to be taught in mainstream schools rather than in separate special schools.

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See also:

15 Jun 99 | Education
Special needs schools raise status
27 Oct 99 | Education
Early detection vital for dyslexia
17 Sep 99 | Education
Special schools raising standards
24 Mar 00 | Education
Special needs' online support
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