Skip to main content

Special Educational Needs: Young Offenders

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that when young offenders have previously been subject to a statement of special educational needs that the details of the statement are made available to the education department at the young offender’s institution. (255439)

I have been asked to reply.

The “Offender Learning Journey” sets out our core expectations for the delivery of education and training for children and young people in YOIs. It requires that the education provider working in custody must work in partnership with other establishments, such as the young person’s previous school, to obtain relevant educational information including any statement of special educational needs and any psychologist’s report on previous learning difficulties. The “Offender Learning Journey” also requires all young people should be diagnostically assessed within 10 working days of entry to custody and should be screened for specific learning difficulties.

The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill which was introduced into Parliament on 4 February includes a clause which places a new duty on local education authorities in England and Wales with youth accommodation in their area to secure suitable education for those children and young people detained in custody. In carrying out this duty, local authorities will need to have regard to young peoples’ special educational needs or learning difficulties. This duty is subject to the successful passage of the Bill through Parliament.