CHILDREN with learning difficulties are set to benefit from a new council policy to keep them in mainstream schooling.

The £20m spent annually on special educational needs in Bromley will now be aimed at ensuring disabled children and those with learning problems are educated alongside children of all abilities.

The new policy and development plan, formed after six months consultation with parents and voluntary groups, will develop pupils' social skills and recognise non-academic achievement.

Darrick Wood Junior School, Lovibonds Avenue, Orpington, was rated "excellent" in a recent Ofsted report for its special needs facilities for children with hearing impairments.

Headmaster Mike Olley said: "I welcome any policy promoting inclusion, provided the support is there to make it work.

"With the help of dedicated staff, all of our pupils are able to work together, and no-one is excluded. And we hope to keep improving this with new ideas."

October 1, 2001 16:07