HC Deb 10 December 1991 vol 200 c727
14. Mr. Battle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what improvements there have been in the education provision in primary schools for children with special needs since 1979.

Mr. Fallon

Among the major improvements, The Education Act 1981 provided a coherent framework for identifying and assessing children with special educational needs. The introduction of the national curriculum and schemes for the local management of schools will build on that framework and bring about further improvements in provision for such children, not just in primary schools but throughout the state system.

Mr. Battle

Given the Government's stress on education selectivity and exclusivity in the national curriculum and in the league tests, did the Secretary of State insist on a special emphasis on educational special needs when he commissioned his report into primary education last week?

Mr. Fallon

The inquiry that my right hon. and learned Friend has commissioned into primary education will, of course, encompass the needs of children with special educational needs. I point out to the hon. Gentleman that the 1981 Act is now steadily being made more effective, that more resources are being made available every year and that parents are becoming more and more aware of their rights under that Act.