HC Deb 28 July 1997 vol 299 cc51-2W
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what plans he has to make provision, in the education service, for children identified as being affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; [10495]

(2) what measures he proposes to assist those suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and their carers; and if he will make a statement; [10496]

(3) what measures he proposes in respect of the education of children affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; and if he will make a statement; [10498]

(4) what representations he has received from the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers regarding classroom behaviour difficulties; what research his Department has evaluated in respect of the

role of attention deficit disorder in contributing to such problems; and if he will commission further research in this area. [10502]

Ms Estelle Morris

Provision for children with special educational needs, including those whose needs arise from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a matter for local education authorities and schools, which must have regard to the code of practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs. The forthcoming Green Paper on special needs will set out ideas for improving provision across the whole range of special needs. It will emphasise the importance of early identification and co-operation between statutory and voluntary agencies and parents, factors which are of particular relevance to children with ADHD and their carers. Following consultation, the Department will draw up an action plan to take forward the Green Paper's proposals.

My right hon. Friend has received no representations from the National Association of Head Teachers regarding classroom behaviour difficulties. The previous Secretary of State received a number of representations from the association on this matter. I refer the hon. Member to the reply he received from the then Minister on 26 June 1995, Official Report, columns 503–504. The Department has not evaluated research on attention deficit disorder, although officials from the Department have met a number of ADHD groups and discussed with them research in this area, and professional bodies, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, have issued guidance based on research evidence. We have no current plans to commission further research on ADHD.