HC Deb 19 July 2002 vol 389 c646W
Jonathan Shaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what training is required for teachers to deal with pupils diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. [70156]

Stephen Twigg

It is important that all teachers are properly prepared for the range of special educational needs (SEN) they will encounter in schools. That is why, as part of their initial teacher training, all student teachers must show that they understand their responsibilities under the SEN Code of Practice, and know how to seek advice where necessary. These skills are reinforced and developed during their induction period, when teachers have to demonstrate that they can plan effectively to meet the needs of pupils with SEN.

There are no specific training requirements placed on teachers in relation to dealing with pupils diagnosed with either Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. However, opportunities for in-service training and continuing professional development for teachers in post are supported under the training component of the SEN category of the Department's Standards Fund, through which £91 million of locally supported expenditure is available for SEN in 2002–03. Under the Standards Fund, LEAs and schools can draw on grant aid to address the training and development needs of teachers, and other staff, in relation to particular SEN conditions, including ADHD and dyslexia. The support on offer covers activity ranging from awareness raising events to more specialised in-depth training. It is, however, for individual local education authorities and schools to determine and prioritise the training and development needs of their staff, in the light of local circumstances. We have also introduced in 2002–03 two new £1 million funding streams, under the SEN Small Programme Fund and the SEN Training and Development Fund, to support the creation of new or extended training opportunities and resources for teachers and other staff. Under these initiatives, competitive bids were invited from voluntary organisations and higher education institutions. Included amongst the successful bids were a number of ADHD and dyslexia projects.