§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what arrangements he has made for ensuring that trainee teachers have the necessary competence to identify pupils with specific learning difficulties. 
§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 7 December 1999]: The National Standards for Qualified Teacher Status reflect the Secretary of State's requirement for Qualified Teacher Status as set out in the DfEE Circular 4/98. The standards apply to all trainees seeking Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and should be met by those to be assessed for QTS from May 1998. Successful completion of a course or programme of initial teacher training (ITT), including employment based provision, must require the trainee to achieve all these standards. All courses must involve the assessment of all trainees against all the standards specified. Qualified Teacher Status is a requirement for all those who teach in a maintained school.84W
The National Standards require all newly qualified teachers to demonstrate that they can identify pupils who have special educational needs, including specific learning difficulties; know where to get help in order to give positive and targeted support; and are familiar with the Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs and, as part of their responsibilities under the Code, implement and keep records on individual education plans (IEPs) with pupils at stage 2 of the Code and above.