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Special Needs

Volume 226: debated on Wednesday 16 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy to continue to make provision for local education authorities to plan and review the education of all children with special needs within their area.

The Education Bill currently before Parliament would strengthen provision for all pupils with special educational needs in an area. It would put duties on the funding agency and on the local education authority to take account of the need for making suitable SEN provision where they have responsibility for planning school places in an area. It provides for further co-operative arrangements between the sectors over local SEN provisionResponsibility for making provision for the majority of pupils with SEN rests with school governors, who will be required to formulate and report on their policies for children with SEN. Schools' performance will be systematically inspected against their policies by independent inspectors. The Bill would require the Secretary of State to issue a code of practice to which local education authorities and all maintained school must have regard in respect of pupils with SEN. It provides for local education authorities to make available SEN support services to grant-maintained and local education authority-maintained schools to assist governors.The duties of local education authorities towards pupils who may need an assessment and a statement and their duty to review all the arrangements for pupils with SEN are reinforced in the Bill.