Mencap report

6th July 2001 at 01:00
MANY children with learning disabilities also have health needs which prevent them getting the best out of their education.

Don't Count Me Out, a new report published by Mencap, reveals that local authorities commonly do not allow school staff to take responsibility for administering medication.

The report is based onin-depth interviews with families such as those of Gary, aged 14, who is prone to epileptic fits. No one was prepared to administer his emergency medication, so his mother had to withdraw him from school until trained staff were in place.

Since learning disability affects 1.2 million people in the UK, this problem is not going to go away. SaysBeverley Dawkins ofMencap: "Disabled children with health needs should have the same right to education as all children. Mencap urges the government to clarify the legal position of school staff, and to train and insure them for medicalprocedures."

* Don't Count Me Out is available from Mencap, tel: 020 7696 5503-5593.

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