Dyslexia sufferers sue councils for 'neglect'

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Local councils are facing a possible spate of negligence claims from dyslexia sufferers who claim their condition was ignored by teachers.

Local councils are facing a possible spate of negligence claims from dyslexia sufferers who claim their condition was ignored by teachers.

A group action brought for 10 people in north-west England is the first to follow this summer's landmark ruling by the law lords that councils may be sued for failing to provide proper education for children with special needs.

The judgment, in a case brought by three dyslexia sufferers and a child with muscular dystrophy, established that there was "no escape" from the view that teachers owed a duty of care to all their pupils, and dismissed defence fears of"gold-digging actions brought on behalf of underachieving children".

The first cases, being prepared by the Manchester solicitors Myers Lister Price, include that of Jane Kyte, 20, a clothes packer, who claims she was labelled "thick" and "lazy" at her Manchester school, stripping her of confidence.

Lawyers admit that the success of the claims largely rests on establishing that "concerns" were overlooked. Pamela Phelps, one of the cases among those ruled on by the law lords, has received a total payout of £45,650 from Hillingdon council in west London.

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