HC Deb 31 January 2002 vol 379 c486W
Angela Watkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will ensure that the total inclusion policy will not lead to the closure of special schools and nursery units by means of non-referral of pupils. [31247]

Mr. Timms

Decisions about the individual placement of children with special educational needs and the pattern of provision to provide for their needs are determined locally. In promoting the inclusion of children with special educational needs the Government have sought to ensure excellence and choice. Greater inclusion does not mean it will be harder for parents whose children have a statement to secure a place for their child in a special school. Where appropriate local education authorities should name a special school in a child's statement. The Government have underlined that there is a vital and continuing role for special schools. We are encouraging and supporting special schools to become outward looking centres of excellence, their staff working in partnership with their mainstream colleagues.