To ask Her Majesty’s Government what additional support has been given to schools that have children with special educational needs.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): To support local authorities and schools to fulfil their duties towards children with special educational needs (SEN), the Government have increased investment with planned expenditure on SEN rising from £2.8 billion in 2000-01 to £5.1 billion in 2008-09.
We are improving school workforce skills, with the Inclusion Development Programme cascading in-service training for the school workforce. The first year of the programme covered dyslexia and speech, language and communication disorders, this year is focused on autistic spectrum disorders and next year the focus will be on behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Nationally accredited training for all those new to the role of special educational needs co-ordinator in schools started in September 2009.
We have published the Better Communication Action Plan, to improve services for children and young people with SLCN, supported by up to £12 million, and we are funding training for up to 4,000 specialist dyslexia teachers over the next two years.
The £31 million Achievement for All pilots started in 10 areas this September to demonstrate how to improve outcomes for children with SEN.