HC Deb 18 February 1991 vol 186 cc1-2
1. Mr. Raffan

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the number of primary and secondary school pupils in Wales suffering from dyslexia and as to what specialist, qualified teaching is available for them.

The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Sir Wyn Roberts)

The Education Act 1981 abolished the categorisation of children by disability, so the precise numbers are not available. Provision for children with learning difficulties is made by local education authorities according to local circumstances.

Mr. Raffan

Does my hon. Friend share my concern that Clwyd local education authority only recently carried out a survey of primary school pupils to identify those suffering from dyslexia and that it has not yet carried out a similar survey in county secondary schools? Does my hon. Friend agree that all Welsh local education authorities should carry out surveys if they have not already done so, since such data are essential if we are to raise the standard of special teaching for dyslexic pupils up to the admirably high level that prevails at Orrets Meadow school in the constituency of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales?

Sir Wyn Roberts

As I think my hon. Friend knows, dyslexia covers a wide range of learning difficulties. The intention behind the relevant provision in the Education Act 1981 was to abolish the categorisation of children by disability. I understand that Clwyd has acted as my hon. Friend described. It is for Clwyd to get on with analysing the number of dyslexic children in secondary schools, if it thinks that it should do so.

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