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Sports boost for special needs pupils

[Monday 20 March 2006]

Children with special needs will benefit from greater access to sports thanks to a unique project being launched in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire County Council's education service has secured £232,000 for a three-year scheme to raise the quality of sport in its special schools.

Although it is set to run in all eleven of the County's special schools, the initiative will centre on Mowbray School in Bedale which teaches children between the ages of two and sixteen with a range of learning and behavioural difficulties.

It is also expected to help children with special needs that are taught in mainstream schools and is thought to be the first scheme of its kind in the country.

The project aims to fill a gap in sports for children with special needs by creating a network of provision across the County.

Councillor Caroline Patmore, north Yorkshire's executive member for children's services, said: "It is a real privilege to be at the forefront of such a scheme that will bring so many benefits to children in North Yorkshire.

"We are all thrilled to secure the funding for what undoubtedly will be a worthy and exciting initiative."

Head teacher of Mowbray School, Jonathan Tearle, is currently co-ordinating efforts to find a manager to develop the project.

He said: "Research continually highlights the benefits that movement and sporting activities have on children's wellbeing.

"Many children with profound and complex learning difficulties follow daily physiotherapy programmes and it is very important to give them every opportunity to participate in movement activities."

This latest initiative is just one part of an ongoing strategy to improve sports' provision in North Yorkshire's schools and represents over £5m worth of funding for every primary, secondary and special school in the County.

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