Special school is sought for north


Plans for a Jewish special needs school in Greater Manchester are under discussion. It is estimated that 900 Jewish children in the region require extra educational support and since the closure of the Cheshire-based Delamere secondary school in 2011, there has been no dedicated Jewish special educational needs provision for those aged 11 to 15. They either receive help to attend mainstream Jewish schools or a non-Jewish provider.

Detailed research carried out by a partnership of Manchester Jewish SEN organisations, including Delamere's charitable trust, has identified 60 complex cases where a child would benefit from a specialist Jewish school.

Parents and SEN professionals are applying to establish the school through the government's free schools programme. The plans are being supported by the Langdon special needs charity and Binoh, a strictly Orthodox support organisation.

The project is being chaired by Jeremy Ross, who has two children with special needs. He said the aim was to create a school which could work alongside mainstream Jewish educational establishments.

"Our second meeting for parents this week has created a list of parents of 70 children who are interested. A lot of these kids are attending non-Jewish schools or really struggling in mainstream education. It's not fair to the children but it's also not fair to expect mainstream schools to cope with that."

A lot of these kids are really struggling

Langdon College principal Chris Mayho, who is developing a curriculum for the proposed school, said: "We are talking about a specialist environment where everyone is clearly trained to deal with these young people and their needs."

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