Disability: Children

Health written question – answered on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure that all disabled children have access to a dedicated assistant to help them take part in activities, such as trips and physical activities.

Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather The Minister of State, Department for Education

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Education.

Schools and local authorities have duties, which are now requirements of the Equality Act 2010, not to discriminate against a disabled pupil regarding their education and associated services, including school trips, and to take reasonable steps to avoid such discrimination.

Government do not dictate a particular model of provision to support disabled children and their families: decisions are made locally by local authorities and the health service. The Government's approach to improving services and outcomes for disabled children is set out in their Green Paper: “Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability”. 20 pathfinders have been appointed to test the proposals in the Green Paper, including giving parents more control, parents being better informed about the support that is available and their rights as well as trialling personal budgets for those who want them.

Local authorities are under a duty to provide a range of short breaks, which allow parents and carers of disabled children to find time to do normal things which other families take for granted.

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