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Abandoned: the boy no school can cope with

BY Kathryn Torney

A nine-year-old Belfast boy is being denied a proper education because no school in Northern Ireland can deal with his challenging behaviour, his mother claims.

Dean Clarke, from Castlereagh, suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has only had an hour of home tuition a day since December after he was forced to leave a mainstream and special needs primary school.

His mother Nicola, who has three other children, told the Belfast Telegraph it has been suggested to her that a special boarding school in England may be the last resort for him.

"Dean has tried to commit suicide, set fire to places and has broken windows. He is on Ritalin and sleeping tablets," she said.

"But I do not want to send my child across the water."

Nicola said the situation is very stressful for her, her mother and her other children.

"I am totally disgusted with the education available here. There is nothing for Dean," she said.

"I want him to go to school in Northern Ireland and to have a proper education. If I was the one keeping him out of school I would be taken to court.

"I do not want Dean to go away from home.

"They should have schools here to deal with children like Dean. It is ridiculous that I have to fight to try and get him educated.

"He has already fallen behind and this is going to get worse with just an hour of tuition a day.

"Dean can be a loveable child but he needs help."

A spokeswoman for the South Eastern Education and Library Board said: " It is the board's policy not to comment on individual pupils."

Belfast Telegraph


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