Nursery Schools and Special Schools

Part of Orders of the Day — EDUCATION (No. 2) BILL – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 12th February 1980.

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Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North 9:45 pm, 12th February 1980

The Bill was drafted with children in the ordinary State schools in mind, and to extend the choice of parents. Similarly, the work that we are doing on the Warnock report will be used to extend parental preference and the information available to them. If we insist that every school within the State sector should issue its own prospectus—a card identity kit about what the school is achieving—it would seem that similar provisions should be made for the issue of such a prospectus by special schools inside and outside the State sector. My hon. Friend the Member for Exeter told me this week how parents often move around to find a school that offers what they want for their children. We accept completely that the parents of handicapped children would appreciate it if the provisions about the publication of information and effective parental involvement in schools could be extended to special schools. I assure the House that we shall take account of that in any projected Warnock legislation.

We have used the Bill to extend parental choice. We insist on schools issuing information to parents so that when they make a choice they can make a wise choice.