HC Deb 27 November 2002 vol 395 c312W
Mr. Paul Marsden

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the support available to children with mental health problems excluded from school. [82745]

Mr. Stephen Twigg

In November 2001 the Government published statutory guidance, "Access to education for children and young people with medical needs", which covers mental health as well as other medical needs. And in June 2001 the Department also published jointly with the Department of Health guidance on "Promoting Children's Mental Health within Early Years and School Settings". The guidance is designed to help teachers and others working alongside mental health professionals, to promote children's mental health and to intervene effectively with those children experiencing problems. Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) are available to offer a range of professional support and help for individual children, their families and schools. They can provide early identification of problems, assessment, specialist advice, outreach work and treatment. We have implemented a robust policy to ensure that all pupils permanently excluded from schools receive a suitable full-time education. All pupils should continue to have access to as much education as their mental health condition allows so that they are able to maintain the momentum of their education and keep up with their studies.