Cuts begin to bite, first special education schools set to close

A number of schools for children with learning difficulties will close this summer, as government special education spending cuts begin to bite.

A school for autistic children in Breda is closing its doors and other schools are closing in Zwolle and Brielle, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

The government wants to encourage children with special educational needs to attend ordinary schools. In 2003, 54,000 children attended special schools but by 2011 this had gone up to 69,000.

A spokesman for Breda school group Het Driespan said the decision to close the Kristal school, which has 80 pupils, stemmed from a decision to cut spending on schools in the region by €1.8m.

‘We had to choose. Autistic children have the best chance to survive at an ordinary school,’ director Stan Hofkes told the Volkskrant.

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