HC Deb 17 May 1994 vol 243 cc422-3W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are his current policies to assist(a) adults and (b) children of school age who suffer dyslexia; and what new measures he plans.

Sir Wyn Roberts

The Further Education Funding Council for Wales has responsibility for ensuring that adequate arrangements are in place to meet the needs of adult students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Since 1 April 1993 the funding council may fund courses which teach independent living and communication skills to adults who have learning difficulties so as to prepare them for vocational or academic courses; courses which prepare them for entry to higher education courses; courses for basic literacy in English; or courses for proficiency or literacy in Welsh. The council supported over 2,100 students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in 1993–94, including those with dyslexia.

It is the responsibility of local education authonties and schools to make appropriate provision for children with special educational needs, including dyslexia. The code of practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs, which has been approved by Parliament, and which comes into effect in September 1994, gives guidance to help LEAs and schools in those responsibilities. From that date also school governing bodies have the duty of preparing and publishing their policies for children with special educational needs, including those with dyslexia.

Under the grants for education support and training programme for 1994–95, the Welsh Office has made grant available to LEAs specifically for training of teachers of children with dyslexia in addition to more general training in special educational needs. The 1995–96 programme is currently under consideration.