What recent discussions she has had with her counterparts in the devolved Administrations on support for children with special educational needs.
The hon. Gentleman will be aware that we published the special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision improvement plan in March this year. Although the plan applies only to England, we shared a pre-publication draft with the devolved Administrations to build understanding of our proposals.
I thank the Minister for her response and for her interest in exchanging such ideas with Northern Ireland. Whether we are on the United Kingdom mainland or in Northern Ireland, money is under pressure. As someone who has been an elected representative in local government, in the council, as a Member of the Legislative Assembly and as a Member of Parliament, I am very aware that many more people seem to have special educational needs. When people have to wait up to seven months for an assessment, the cut in money is detrimental. Will the Minister share the ideas from the mainland here in the UK with the Department of Education back home? There are many ideas and thoughts on classroom assistants on the mainland, and it would be good to exchange those ideas and thoughts with the Assembly in Northern Ireland.
I know that the hon. Gentleman is a passionate campaigner on such issues. He will know that education is devolved, but Ministers engage with our counterparts through the UK Education Ministers Council, and a session was held just last week, on