HC Deb 02 December 1999 vol 340 cc308-9W
29. Mr. Quinn

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the Government's plans to ensure equal opportunity and access for children who have special educational needs. [99372]

Jacqui Smith

The Government's strategy for raising standards for pupils with special educational needs is set out in the document "Meeting Special Educational Needs: A programme of action" published in November 1998. One strand of this programme was to expand the Schools Access Initiative to fund capital allocations to make mainstream schools more accessible to pupils with disabilities. We have allocated £20 million in the 1999–2000 financial year and expect to allocate a further £80 million over the next two years.

Mr. Corbett

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how he proposes to consult with children with disabilities on the provisions of the proposed Special Educational Needs Bill. [100905]

Jacqui Smith

The Special Educational Needs Bill will incorporate undertakings made in "Meeting Special Educational Needs: A Programme of Action", which were drawn up following extensive consultation—including with disabled children and their representatives—on the Green Paper "Excellence for All Children: Meeting Special Educational Needs".

In consulting on the Bill, we will welcome comments from all interested parties including children with disabilities.