HC Deb 08 February 2001 vol 362 cc689-90W
20. Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what discussions he has had with teacher representatives about the establishment of learning support units and pupil referral units. [147925]

Jacqui Smith

We discuss such issues regularly as we meet representatives of the teacher associations about discipline and other issues. We are providing £174 million from April to tackle truancy, improve discipline and educate excluded pupils. Schools have welcomed the increased provision and the fact that there are 1,000 more places in PRUs for excluded pupils than in 1997, as well as plans for over 1,000 in-school units by 2002.

However, it is for local education authorities and the senior management teams of schools between them to decide where best to establish Learning Support Units to meet identified needs. Before opening or closing a Pupil Referral Unit, local education authorities should consult locally, including other Pupil Referral Units and their management committees, which may include headteachers.