Education authorities in the city of Osaka have pledged to review how schools handle applications for places from special-needs children after hearing that a public elementary school tried to turn away a local child with Down syndrome.

New Zealander Steve Sasaki-Samuels, 37, and his wife, Junko, 45, residents of Yodogawa Ward, said they experienced painful resistance when they tried to enroll their 6-year-old son in the school.

On Monday, the Osaka Board of Education admitted during a news conference to having shown reluctance to accept the child. Officials said they will improve support for schools by introducing consultation services.