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Children: Deaf and Communication Disorders

Volume 699: debated on Monday 18 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What powers the Department for Children, Schools and Families has, or could seek, to assist the Royal School for the Deaf and Communication Disorders in trying to deal with budget deficit and the potential loss of low-incidence specialisms and expertise to severely disabled children and young people. [HL1807]

All non-maintained special schools (NMSSs) such as the Royal School for the Deaf and Communication Disorders (RSDCD) are responsible for their own financial viability. Local authorities (LAs) are responsible for any fees charged by a school for a child they may place in a school. Any discussion or negotiation of fees is a matter between a school and LA. The department has worked with the representative bodies of LAs, NMSSs and independent schools in developing a national contract for the placement of children and young people in day and residential provision in these schools. Although the contract is widely adopted by schools and LAs, it is not compulsory, nor could it be, as fees are a matter to be agreed by individual parties.

NMSSs do have access to capital and revenue funding streams from the department and RSDCD has received £131,081.17 direct funding from the department in 2007-08. The school will receive a further £15,075 in revenue funding before the end of the financial year.