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Education: Hearing Impaired

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate he has made of the amount spent on the education of deaf children in Norfolk in each of the last five years; (150867)

(2) if he will assess the effectiveness of the process for (a) the education of deaf children and (b) the appeal process against allocation decisions.

The Department does not collect information on the amount spent on the education of particular groups of pupils with special educational needs (SEN). However, the following table shows information relating to budgeted expenditure on the education of children with special educational needs in Norfolk since 2003-04:

£

2003-04

42,233,000

2004-05

44,946,000

2005-06

48,604,000

2006-07

51,472,000

2007-08

160,953,000

1 Provisional

Source:

Section 52 statements

We do not make a separate assessment of the effectiveness of the education of deaf children. All pupils both with and without SEN are assessed at the end of key stages of learning and pupils with a statement of SEN have their needs reviewed annually. The statutory framework and the SEN code of practice should ensure that all children with special needs have those needs identified and assessed and receive appropriate support. We are currently in discussion with deaf and hearing impairment organisations about school attainment data for this group of pupils.

We have no plans to review the effectiveness of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST), which provides an independent and impartial appeal process against local authority decisions about the education of children with hearing impairments and other special educational needs. In the tribunal year 2005-06 the tribunal decided 31 cases in which hearing impairment was identified as the children's primary difficulty. The tribunal upheld 20 of 26 cases relating to school placement.

Under part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), schools must not discriminate against prospective disabled pupils in their admissions arrangements and should make reasonable adjustments to their admissions policies and procedures so that prospective disabled pupils are not disadvantaged by the school's admission arrangements. If a child is refused entry for other reasons, such as the school being full, then they have the same right to appeal as other children.

Local education appeals panels consider claims of discrimination in relation to admissions to, and permanent exclusions from, local authority maintained schools. SENDIST hears other claims about schools under the DDA.