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Hard-to-teach Children

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 26 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what criteria are used to determine which children are designated as hard to teach; (92814)

(2) what guidelines his Department provides for educating ‘hard to teach’ children.

‘Hard to teach’ is not part of our standard terminology for describing groups of children and young people; therefore we do not have criteria to define it.

‘Hard to reach’ and ‘hard to place’ are similar terms used in the Department’s guidance to schools and wider children’s services. ‘Hard to reach’ is not precisely defined, but refers to children and families who are generally disengaged from mainstream public services, and are at risk of experiencing poor life chances and outcomes. ‘Hard to place’ refers to children who experience difficulties gaining admission to a school, perhaps because they have moved due to family circumstances, or have been excluded from another school. This issue is addressed in the new School Admissions code, for which the current consultation ends 1 December 2006.

The Department also publishes guidance on children and young people with special educational needs (SEN), including the SEN code of practice and toolkit.