HC Deb 18 June 1997 vol 296 c200W
Mr. Ottaway

To ask the Secretary of State for education and Employment what plans he has to help secondary school children who suffer from dyslexia. [3973]

Ms Estelle Morris

We need first to ensure that dyslexia is picked up before children reach secondary school. The Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs emphasises the need for theearly identification of special educational needs. The proposals for a national curriculum for initial teacher training and baseline assessment will help teachers identify children with dyslexia when they first start school. Beyond that, the Department is currently funding a number of research projects directly related to dyslexia. One in particular at the Manchester Metropolitan University, aims to establish those practices for assessment and intervention which teachers have found effective for use in the ordinary classroom. We will make sure that the findings from these projects are disseminated to teachers.

Mr. Ottaway

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on future funding of specialist education for children at secondary school who suffer from dyslexia. [3974]

Ms Morris

Each local education authority is responsible for setting its own budget and deciding its priorities between and within services, including special educational needs. The Government's role is to set the overall framework for the funding of local authority services nationally, and to determine the way in which national "standard spending" totals are distributed between local authorities, through the standard spending assessment system. The way in which we propose to develop policy on provision for special educational needs will be set out in the forthcoming education White Paper.