Clause 4 - Compliance with Orders

Part of Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 29th March 2001.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Education and Employment 1:45 pm, 29th March 2001

I hope that I can reassure the hon. Gentleman. I believe that I said at the start not only that we will lay down time scales, but that failure to comply with an order will leave an LEA open to direction by the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales as appropriate. In the small number of cases in which parents feel that LEAs are slow in complying with an order, we would expect parents to return to the SEN tribunal for assistance. Currently, the tribunal can advise parents to refer their concern to the Department, which would certainly investigate LEAs that had been lax or slow in complying with an order. The clause will ensure that there are much stricter and more specific timetables, which will provide clarification for parents and local education authorities. First, LEAs will be less likely to fail to fulfil those timetables, and secondly, it will be clear to parents that if they do not fulfil those timetables, the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales will be able to direct as appropriate.

In relation to the hon. Gentleman's question about Wales, we would envisage that there would be the same content, which is clearly important, but that there would probably be two sets of regulations.