§ Lord Pearson of Rannoch
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether their intention that it should be no more difficult to obtain a special school place than previously, contained in the statutory guidelines following their Special Education Needs Code of Practice, has been met; and, if so, on what evidence this conclusion is based. [HL4045]
§ Baroness Ashton of Upholland
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 strengthened the right to a place in a mainstream school for children with statements of SEN while at the same time fully preserving parents' right to express a preference for a special school place. The statutory guidanceInclusive Schooling published in 2001 followed the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act and provided further explanation of, and guidance on, the operation of the statutory framework, setting out the reasonable steps that could be taken to ensure a child's inclusion in mainstream schools and providing examples of instances where inclusion may not be appropriate.
The numbers of pupils in mainstream special schools remains broadly static with 88,930 pupils (full and part time) in 2003, down slightly from 89,790 in 2002.