HC Deb 04 July 2002 vol 388 cc495-6W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many places there are in schools for(a) MLD and (b) SLD pupils in England and Wales; and what information she has collated on the demand for places in (i) MLD and (ii) SLD schools in England and Wales. [65675]

Margaret Hodge

Information is not collected on the available places for children with particular categories of special educational needs in England. The majority of children with special educational needs are educated in mainstream schools which respond to the unique needs of each of their pupils. Special schools will also commonly include a diverse range of pupils within a broad spectrum of need.

Since the Education Act 1981, schools have not been required to return information about pupils' special educational needs categorised by disability or learning difficulty. We are now looking into the feasibility of collecting this information.

The responsibility for planning of school places, including for pupils with special educational needs, rest with local education authorities. Information about the demand for placed in MLD and SLD schools is not therefore collated centrally.

In Wales, such matters are for the Welsh Assembly. However we understand that the position is the same.