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Multiple Learning Difficulties (School Provision)

Volume 551: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2012

14. What steps he has taken to ensure that children with profound multiple learning difficulties have their health care needs met while at school. (124148)

We are working with the Department for Education to introduce integrated commissioning of education, health and social care for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This will ensure that children with profound multiple learning difficulties can get the care they need while at school.

I recently visited Hadrian school in my constituency, which caters for children with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties. I saw fantastic teachers and carers doing fantastic work with fantastic children, but I also saw in the reception classes that more children with more severe health needs were entering the school. What guarantees can the Minister offer that funding will be in place for those children in five or 10 years so that Hadrian school can plan now for their needs?

The hon. Lady makes a good point. We know that the Government are putting more money into the NHS. However, this not just about putting in more money, but about how we deliver care in a more joined-up way. At the moment, education works too much in its own silo and the NHS works in another. The Government’s new commissioning arrangements will follow the more joined-up approach that we need to take properly to meet the needs of children with learning disabilities in the round. That must be a good way forward in properly joining up education and health care.