§ Lord Baker of Dorking
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What estimate has been made of the numbers of extra teachers and extra teacher assistants trained in special educational needs skills who will be needed to implement the provisions of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill in each of the years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. [HL855]147WA
§ The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone)
The Explanatory Notes that were published when the Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill received its First Reading in the House of Lords on 6 December gave an estimate of the effect of the Bill on public sector finances, including the effect on public service manpower (paragraph 141). The Government also published, last year, a Regulatory Impact Assessment of the effect of the Bill on the private and voluntary sectors.
We are making significant resources available to support implementation of the Bill. In support of the planning duty, we are making available £220 million between 2001 and 2004 to help schools widen access to premises and the curriculum for pupils with SEN and disabilities.
We are also supporting implementation by providing significant—record—levels of financial support for the training and professional development of teachers and other staff working with pupils with special educational needs. Under the Standards Fund 2000–01, we are supporting expenditure of £26 million on SEN training and development—an increase from £21 million in 1999–2000. In 2001–02 we envisage that £30 million of the overall SEN Standards Fund allocation (£82 million) will be spent on SEN training. LEAs will be free to spend more.
In the Green Paper Teachers: meeting the challenge of change we set ourselves an ambitious target of recruiting the equivalent of an additional 20,000 teaching assistants between April 1999 and March 2002. Over that period, around £350 million is being made available for recruitment and training of the newly recruited teaching assistants working in schools in England, and also to support further training opportunities for more experienced assistants. This of course includes teaching assistants who, under various titles, specialise in working with children with SEN.