§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what guidance his Department has given to local education authorities regarding guaranteeing places in higher education to disabled persons.
It is for higher education institutions, which are responsible for their own academic affairs, including the selection of students, to keep their practice in providing for students with disabilities under review. The Department has issued no guidance. The report "Catching-Up?", published by the National Bureau for 81W Handicapped Students this year, following a DES-sponsored survey of public sector provision for special educational needs, gives useful information on current practice.
§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what financial assistance has been extended to universities and other institutions of higher education to ensure improved facilities for disabled students; and which universities and institutions have benefited from such assistance.
The University Grants Committee allocates resources between universities in the form of block grants and does not earmark moneys for particular services such as those to students with special educational needs. Other institutions receive their funds from their maintaining authority. Information on the extent to which UGC or local authority funding may provide for improvements in facilities for students with special needs is not available centrally. It is for institutions themselves to determine what facilities are needed to meet the special needs of those students which they propose to admit.