§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what provisions he intends to make for promoting the use of microcomputers in educating pupils with learning impediments.
§ Mr. Dunn
The Government have made provision for the promotion of microlectronics in special education within the microelectronics education programme (MEP). Four regional centres (SEMERCs) have been established, at Newcastle upon Tyne, Manchester, Bristol and Redbridge. The programme began in 1981 and has been extended to March 1986; further development beyond that time is at present under discussion.
The MEP has produced a number of programmes for children with learning difficulties. The Government are also making available, through MEP, free software packs for use by children with special educational needs. These packs were developed initally by the Scottish Council for Educational Technology.
Under the education support grants programme for 1985–86, £2.25 million has been allotted to local education authorities for the provision of microelectronic equipment designed or adapted for pupils with special educational needs.