‘Special needs education under threat’

Government plans to streamline the provision of help for special needs children will hit the quality of special education and increase waiting lists, says Ella Kalsbeek, former Labour MP and now chairman of Amsterdam organisation Altra.

Currently, every child who is categorised as special needs gets either a place at a special school or extra help to attend ordinary school through the ‘rucksack’ system.
But junior education minister Sharon Dijskma plans to introduce a fixed budget for special needs education because of the enormous rise in children categorised with behavioural difficulties. Financial details will be announced during the budget in September.
‘I am extremely concerned about this, to put it mildly,’ Kalsbeek told Trouw. ‘If the annual budget is fixed, children cannot be helped. Some of them will end up at home.’

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