To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance his Department will provide to children's trusts and their partners to ensure that by 2010 they have in place arrangements to provide identification and early intervention for children who need additional help; whether this guidance will include information on identifying and supporting children with communication difficulties; and if he will make a statement.
In 2005 the Department issued "Statutory Guidance on Inter-agency Co-operation to Improve the Wellbeing of Children: Children's Trusts". This describes the duties placed on local authorities and other key partners to co-operate to improve the five outcomes for children and young people—be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, making a positive contribution and achieve economic wellbeing. The guidance sets out the features of co-operation through children's trusts and provides a strategic framework within which all children's services within a local area will operate.
In addition, the Department provides a range of guidance to service providers on supporting children with additional needs. This includes the statutory guidance in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice which makes clear schools' and local authorities' responsibilities to identify and make provision for children with SEN, including those with communication difficulties, and the importance of early intervention.