Sheffield takes stock;News;News and Opinion

19th November 1999 at 00:00
SURPLUS housing stock in the Education Secretary's own constituency has attracted "problem" families, posing difficulties for the already overstretched Sheffield schools.

In Chaucer school, a mixed comprehensive in the north of the city, head Denise Watson says attendance levels are stuck below the Government's 90 per cent target.

"We suddenly became aware of more new families coming to the area," she said. "We can't provide the support that these children desperately need. We have no additional funding for that kind of service," she said. "We already have stretched resources, yet the cost of not giving them that support is more expensive in the longer term."

Nearby, Jim Fryer, head of Foxhill primary, says the number of special needs children in some year groups is making teaching difficult.

"Children with significant problems are getting pushed to the back of the queue because children are coming in with problems perceived to be greater."

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