HC Deb 05 July 1983 vol 45 c71W
34. Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what further plans he has to improve the educational facilities for disabled children.

Mr. Dunn

The primary responsibility for improving educational facilities for disabled children rests with the local education authorities. My right hon. Friend is encouraging progress within the framework of the Education Act 1981. The Department is in the process of preparing national plans to rationalise provision for the visually handicapped and hearing impaired. A similar exercise to review provision for physically handicapped and delicate pupils was initiated on 17 June. The Department has recently launched an audio-visual in-service training pack for teachers in ordinary schools who have children with special educational needs in their classes. Meeting special educational needs in ordinary schools is one of the priority areas to be supported by the new scheme of specific grants for in-service teacher training introduced under section 3(a) of the Education Act 1962. My right hon. Friend has also invited the advisory committee on the supply and education of teachers to review training provision relating to special education and to report early in 1984. A revision of design note 18 on access for the physically disabled to educational buildings is being prepared, and work is also in hand on a new publication on design for children with special educational needs in ordinary schools.