§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what appraisal he has made of the implications of universal hearing screening for neonates for the delivery of services by local education authorities to deaf children under the age of two years. 
§ Jacqui Smith
Following advice from the National Screening Committee, my hon. Friend the Minister for Public Health agreed that a pilot programme of neonatal hearing screening should be launched later this year. An announcement was made at the annual conference of the National Deaf Children's Society on Friday 23 June.
Pilot programmes will be set up in 20 areas around the country to assess the full implications of introducing a universal neonatal hearing screening programme, including any consequential requirements for education services. This Department will work closely with the Department of Health to ensure that the impact on education services is fully assessed.