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Victory for special needs campaigners

Campaigners are celebrating a minor victory in a battle to ensure children with special educational needs get the support they need from local authorities.

Support groups have complained that some authorities have blanket policies of not specifying on statements the hours of additional specialist time needed.

This makes it hard for parents to challenge councils when cuts are later made, says Margaret McGowan, ofthe Advisory Centre for Education.

But now the Department for Education and Employment has written to parent-support groups saying it will take action against councils with such policies.

The letter, from Chris Wells, head of special needs at the DFEE, says: "An LEA which adopts a policy of never specifying in these terms would prevent itself from acting flexibly on the merits of an individual case."

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