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SCOTTISH OFFICE MINISTER ENDORSES GROUND-BREAKING PARTNERSHIP MOVE TO HELP CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

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A new project in the Highlands, which aims to provide improved advice and information to children with special need...
A new project in the Highlands, which aims to provide improved advice and information to children with special needs and their parents, was launched at Inverness this week when Scottish Executive Depute minister for education and children Peter Peacock said it was a model for other local councils in Scotland to follow.

Mr Peacock congratulated The Highland Council, through its education

service, and the Highland Dyslexia Association, for setting up a family resource information unit at 38 Tomnahurich Street, Inverness, and for introducing a mobile service, which will make materials available in local communities throughout the Highlands.

Mr Peacock said: 'This is a ground-breaking arrangement which encompasses what the Scottish Executive is aiming to achieve in early intervention, lifelong learning and social inclusion. The initiative also illustrates the hugely important role the voluntary sector plays in the Highlands in the provision of vital services and the importance of partnership working to make the very best use of resources.'

The Highland Council's education chairman Andy Anderson, said the

council was delighted to support such an innovative partnership - the first in Scotland - to provide effective advice and support for children with special needs and their parents. The benefits of the council's funding of£10,000 would be significant.

He said: 'We could not fund this service ourselves but have been more than happy to join forces with the Dyslexia Association. We look forward to a long a productive association.'

The new mobile resource, worth£23,0000, was donated to the Dyslexia

Association by the organisers of the Highland cross charity biathlon. It was launched by Mrs Mary Harley, wife of the late founder of the association Chris Harley, and will take to the road next week in Sutherland.

The family resource information unit will provide a face-to-face advice and information service giving clear and objective advice about the law and procedures in relation to the Special Education Needs Assessment and Record of Needs process. It will also offer a resource library featuring specialised materials relating to specific learning difficulties.

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