To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provision is in place for children and adults with special educational needs who want to enter tertiary education.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Young people with a statement of special educational needs (SEN) also have a transition plan from age 14 to help them make the transition from school to further studies and adult life. The local authority Connexions service is responsible for arranging assessments of all young people with SEN who are in their last year of compulsory schooling and who are planning to go into further education or training.
Provision in tertiary education in the further education (FE) system for children and adults with SEN is based on assessed need. There are discrete courses for those with complex and profound disabilities, sometimes in a residential setting, while FE providers are able to offer places on mainstream courses as part of inclusion policies, having made reasonable adjustments to enable access.
Provision for adults will range from introductory courses on a part-time basis to full-time vocational courses.
From April 2010, foundation learning will be offered, which accredits all learning undertaken and enables learners to study at their own pace.
Foundation learning will cover all provision at level 1 and pre-entry and will provide structured pathways to employment wherever this is appropriate and improve learning outcomes generally.
More broadly, the Government help remove the barriers which prevent disabled students from entering and completing higher education by providing substantial financial help through the disabled students’ allowances.