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Private sponsors sought for special schools

Education minister Estelle Morris said the Government was considering creating a network of privately-funded special schools.

She said ministers were open to approaches from private sponsors wishing to set up specialised institutions along the lines of the Higashi School in the United States, which caters for autistic children.

Ms Morris told a Local Government Association conference on the SEN Green Paper, this week: "We do not want people having to travel abroad to get the provision they want and need. We should be providing it here."

The Government and local authorities are examining the methods used at specialist schools such as Higashi, as increasing numbers of parents demand that cash-strapped councils pay for their child to attend them.

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