More than half a million children under the age of 16 have a disability in the UK.

Many schools have children with disabilities and there’s a lot of debate about the best ways to help disabled children learn.

At their local school

Children with a disability may have a helper with them in lessons and sometimes get taken out of class for separate teaching.

The government have put rules in place to help protect disabled children in local schools.

The law says that teachers are not allowed to stop them from doing certain things, just because of their disability.

For example, they cannot stop a child in a wheelchair from having playtime just because they may need more help moving about.

Teachers cannot tell a child off if they have difficulty concentrating or writing because of their disability, but instead should give them extra help.

In special schools

Some disabled children need more help than local schools can give, so go to a special school where the teachers have more time to spend helping them.

A few special schools let their students board which means they live there most of the time and only come home in the holidays.

For some disabled children, special schools are the best thing for them.

Everyone has the right to choose what school is best for them, whether special or local, without being asked why or stopped from going to the school they want to go to.

However, if a local school can prove a child will affect the learning of others in the class, they can be stopped from going to that school.

A couple of years ago the debate re-opened because the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said all children with disabilities should be able to go to a special school if they want to.

This means many more may be separated from you and the other children at your local school. To hear what children at a junior school in Surrey think being disabled means, please click here