HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 c1585W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received about the continued commissioning from local education authorities of independent specialist education for children with complex and special needs; and if he will make a statement. [154381]

Mr. Stephen Twigg

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills has not received any specific representations on this matter.

Some local authorities have raised concerns about the increased costs of placements in some independent and non-maintained special schools and have cited these costs as a particular pressure on the centrally retained part of the schools budget. It has been one of the reasons some local authorities have given for applying for relaxation of the limits on central spending.

The Department is shortly to issue guidance for local authorities on the management of SEN funding, based on examples of effective practice.