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Special Education

Volume 202: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if Her Majesty's inspectorate will continue to employ inspectors with a specific responsibility for and experience in special educational provision; and if he will make a statement;(2) what measures he proposes to ensure that the proposed local school inspection teams take account of provision of special education; and if he will make a statement;(3) what plans he has to ensure that the Department continues to receive information and independent advice on special education from Her Majesty's inspectorate.

Under the Education (Schools) Bill. Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools will be under a duty to keep the Secretary of State informed about the quality, standards and efficiency of education in schools, and to advise the Secretary of State on specific issues either on request or as the chief inspector sees fit. The provision of information and advice on special educational needs will therefore form part of the chief inspector's duties. The arrangements made to meet this responsibility will be a matter for the chief inspector.The Bill will also place a general duty on registered inspectors to report on quality, standards and efficiency when carrying out inspections under the new arrangements. Provision made for pupils with special educational needs will fall to be considered under each of these headings. I am confident that the chief inspector's guidance to registered inspectors will deal with the need to cover this aspect in every school inspection.