HL Deb 22 July 1996 vol 574 c91WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many places there are in teacher training colleges allocated to the training of teachers of children with learning difficulties; to what extent are there specialised courses to provide for different handicaps; and whether these courses lead to established qualifications.

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Lord Henley)

There are no initial teacher training courses specialising in the training of teachers of children with special educational needs. All initial training courses should, however, give students a basic introduction to identifying and providing for children with SEN.

The Government's policy is that specialist training to teach children with SEN should be undertaken by qualified teachers who have gained experience in a mainstream school. Teachers of classes consisting wholly or mainly of visually—or hearing impaired children are required to gain an additional approved qualification. There is a wide range of training courses available for teachers of children with other special educational needs, some of which lead to a qualification. Information about these courses is not collected centrally.