Advantages and disadvantages of special schools

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For the well-being of their children with disabilities or special needs, parents are often faced with the difficult decision of whether to attempt to integrate the child into a state school system or send him or her to a special school.

While special schools can provide the child with individualised attention, they also pose potential disadvantages.

Special attention

Special schools provide students with individual attention that they would likely not receive in state schools. As a result, learning and development can occur more rapidly and children are not ignored or neglected due to not being able to keep pace with the rest of the class.

Teacher training

Teachers in special schools are specifically trained to deal with students with needs. They have the knowledge and tools necessary to educate the students, and they have an understanding of how students' disabilities affect their ability to learn. The teachers also possess the patience needed to work with special students

Sense of belonging

Special schools promote a sense of inclusion among the students. Rather than feeling like they are outsiders, special students can bond with others with similar disabilities. This can help them develop a sense of confidence and self-esteem.

Lack of socialisation

A disadvantage of this feeling of inclusion can occur when the student attempts to return to state school or to assimilate into regular society. They may have difficulty relating to others who are not like them, so they may feel like outcasts. In some instances, the student may not be able to function outside of the school's environment.


Unlike state schools, special schools often require parents to pay money out of their own pocket for their child to attend. If the cost is prohibitive, the parents may not be able to provide the child with the needed special attention. In some cases, grants or government aid can help lessen the financal burden.