To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he intends to publish the planned consultative proposals to shorten the special educational assessment procedure, to introduce the right for the parents of children with special educational needs to express a preference for a school and to improve parental rights of appeal against a local authority decision; and if he will make a statement.
My noble Friend the Baroness 131atch announced in another place on 29 June that we shall issue shortly a consultation paper which will set out the Government's proposals for legislation relating to special educational needs in these respects.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the average cost of producing a statement of special educational needs in each local education authority.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to amend the statement of special educational needs so that the provision required for the pupil is precisely stated.
Guidance to ensure that any provision set out in a statement of educational needs is stated precisely already exists in circular 22/89, September 1989, and its addendum, March 1992, issued jointly by the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Health. However, as part of the Government's current initiative in special education, my right hon. Friend will shortly be consulting widely on the procedures for issuing statements of special educational needs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to ensure that all inspections of schools will involve an assessment of the school's work with children with special educational needs.
At present, all full inspections of schools by Her Majesty's inspectorate cover all aspects of provision, including special educational needs. The arrangements from 1 September 1992 will be a matter for Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to clarify the requirements for formula funding schemes to allow the local education authority accurately to determine the level of funding required for each pupil's special educational needs to be met as defined by their statement.
Guidance to authorities on the question of formula funding for special educational needs is provided at paragraph 101 of DES circular 7/91. My right hon. Friend will consider the possibility of further guidance in the light of the wide-ranging consultation on special educational needs which he is about to undertake.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to introduce national guidelines defining the level of responsibility mainstream schools should have for pupils with special educational needs.
This question will be considered in the light of responses to the wide-ranging consultation on special educational needs which my right hon. Friend will shortly undertake.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the average length of time it takes to produce a statement of special educational needs in each local education authority.