Education and Skills written question – answered on 7th June 2007.

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Photo of Richard Spring Richard Spring Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what Government support is available for people suffering from dyspraxia.

Photo of Parmjit Dhanda Parmjit Dhanda Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Education and Skills

Support for children with special educational needs (SEN) accounts for a high proportion of all school expenditure. We do not hold information centrally about expenditure on dyspraxia, but information collected from local authorities (LAs) shows planned expenditure on the education of school-age children with SEN of £4.5 billion in 2006-07. This is about 13 per cent. of all education spending.

Schools and LAs provide support to children with SEN, including those with dyspraxia, by taking account of guidance set out in the SEN Code of Practice (2001). The code recommends school based interventions at two levels—"School Action and School Action Plus". If a child does not make adequate progress or cannot access the curriculum at "School Action Plus", and it is considered the child may need support over and above what the school can provide, the LA may carry out a statutory assessment of the child's SEN, with the view to the issue of a statement. A statement sets out the child's needs, the provision to meet those needs, and the school the child attends.

Once a statement is issued the LA is under a duty to arrange the educational provision specified in the statement.

A statement may also, in the case of a child with dyspraxia, set out the support to be provided by health services, for example occupational therapy.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for funding further education provision for post-16 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including those people with dyspraxia. We do not hold information on the specific expenditure on dyspraxia. However, overall investment in provision for these learners has increased significantly over recent years, and in 2004/05 the LSC helped support more than 640,000 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities accounting for nearly £1.5 billion.

Continuing investment in this provision remains a priority and the LSC has made clear in their Annual Statement of Priorities for 2007-08 that they expect the proportion of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to be maintained.

For young people in higher education, disabled students' allowances can help meet the additional costs of undertaking the course which arise from their disability, mental health condition or specific learning disability, including dyspraxia.

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