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Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much has been allocated to provide further educational assistance to those with dyslexia-related reading difficulties in 2008-09; and to how many people such assistance will be provided in 2008-09. (219856)

Local authorities and schools are funded to provide special educational needs (SEN) services. The Education Act 1996 requires schools to use their best endeavours to make suitable provision available for all children with SEN, including those with dyslexia. Local authority and school planned spend on SEN (including for children with dyslexia) was £4.9 billion in 2007-08.

Latest figures for pupils in schools with specific learning difficulties (including dyslexia) show there are 77,090 pupils either with a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or supported at SEN School Action Plus. My Department does not collect data on the particular special educational needs of pupils at School Action, some of whom have specific learning difficulties.

In December 2007, the Government published the “Children's Plan” which announced we will spend £18 million over the financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11 to improve special educational needs provision. This includes £3 million for improving provision for children with dyslexia; the use of most of which will be decided in the light of Sir Jim Rose's recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia. However, £150,000 is being provided over two financial years, to enable the British Dyslexia Association to develop their helpline, which provides advice about dyslexia to people including teachers and parents; and £250,000 is being provided over three financial years, to enable Dyslexia Action to run further Partnership for Literacy pilots.

In addition, we are providing around £1 million, over three years, to the No to Failure project.

No to Failure is trailblazing and evaluating the impact of specialist training for teachers and specialist tuition for children with dyslexia in some schools in three local authority areas. The final evaluation report will be published early next year.