HC Deb 18 December 2001 vol 377 cc274-5W
Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what educational provision exists for over 16-year-old children in hospital; and if he will make a statement. [22488]

Margaret Hodge

I have been asked to reply.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has a duty to secure the provision of proper facilities for the education and training of 16 to 19-year-olds including those who may have missed out on education due to prolonged illness.

The Connexions Service also provides integrated information, advice, guidance and personal development opportunities for all young people aged 13 to 19 in England, including giving more in depth support to those who are at greatest risk of not making a successful transition to adulthood.

In addition, the DfES published in November this year, new statutory guidance "Access to Education for children and young people with Medical needs" which sets out minimum national standards for the education of children who are unable to attend school because of medical needs. The guidance advises that all agencies should try to enable a pupil to continue any course being taken on entry to hospital or while ill or injured at home. Local education authorities (LEAs) also have the power to provide suitable education otherwise than at school for young people over compulsory school age but under the age of 19. A local education authority (LEA) should normally arrange continuing education for young people over compulsory school age but under 18 where he or she is a "year behind" if they need to study for a further year to complete an examination course.

From April 2002, local LSCs will allocate resources to LEAs for provision delivered in school sixth forms and LEA maintained 16–19 institutions. I expect this to ensure a genuinely coherent approach to post-16 provision.