Clause 8 - Review or Assessment of Educational Needs at Request of Responsible Body

Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 29th March 2001.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Tim Boswell Tim Boswell Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Education and Employment)

An examination of the review, which would be generated by a responsible body, will take place if the LEA has not made the assessment within six months. Can the Minister confirm that parents will already be availing themselves, or are able to avail themselves, of the parental partnership, because they are within the system? We have already discussed the slightly rebarbative nature of official notices. Given that the Bill concerns real people, who are not Members of Parliament and therefore not used to reading official notices, they could be rather frightened by communications that start ``heretofore'' or ``under section X of the regulations.'' We need to know that there will be someone friendly to take them through the process to explain their legal rights, so that what is designed as a protection for parents and schools does not accidentally transmute into a subversion of the process. I merely flag up that issue.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Education and Employment

I am willing to reassure the hon. Gentleman that, during assessment, the parent partnership services are available to all parents of children with special educational needs. We envisage that that advice and support will be offered by parent partnerships throughout the country, as they are already by existing partnerships.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.