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Special schools could face high fines for including non-handicapped children in programmes
02-04-2010  Jan Velinger

Photo: Amnesty International The Czech School Inspection has found that a high number of children from socially-challenged environments unnecessarily attend special schools in the Czech Republic. The schools largely educate mildly mentally-handicapped children, or children with developmental disabilities.

The Inspection began its investigation into special schools last autumn at the behest of the Education Ministry. So far, it has found that 110 children – more than a quarter of them Romany – attended special schools without due reason. An additional 173 cases are being looked into.

The deputy head of the Czech School Inspection, Libor Vacek, suggested earlier that poor diagnostics were part of the problem, sometimes ranking children from poor backgrounds among those with mild disabilities. But 34 special schools which received state funding could see high fines and face possible closure if it is found they purposely abused the system to fill classrooms. The Inspection is expected to conclude its review of special schools in May.

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