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School Buildings (Access)

Volume 174: debated on Monday 18 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice he gives to local education authorities on the standards of access for people with disabilities for new designs for and adaptations to school and college buildings; and whether he will consult interested parties regarding statutory provision for standards of access for new school and college buildings.

Guidance to those responsible for making educational buildings accessible to disabled people and for adapting ordinary school buildings for pupils with special needs is given in design note 18 (1984) and building bulletin 61 published by DES architects and building branch. The design note is based on the recommendations of a working party including representatives of Her Majesty's inspectorate, local authorities and interested central Government Departments.Access for disabled people to new school and college buildings is required to be confirmed under the arrangements for obtaining the Secretary of State's approval to capital building projects.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many nursery, primary and secondary schools are fully accessible to pupils and teachers with disabilities; what are these figures as percentages of the total number of schools; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what specific funding has been available to local education authorities to enable access to school and college buildings for pupils and teachers with disabilities in each of the last 10 years; and if he has any plans to make specific grants available to local education authorities to carry out necessary capital works to facilitate physical access for people with disabilities.

None. It is for local education authorities to decide their priorities for capital expenditure on schools and colleges, taking account of their responsibilities under section 8 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.