New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: The Minister is aware of my concern about the gap between the ages of 16 and 18 where children with learning difficulties and special educational needs find that they have only three days a week rather than five. Is there any chance that the new regulations will lay down that such hours will be delivered over at least four days a week?

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education (Mr Edward Timpson): My hon. Friend has studiously raised this matter on every occasion that we have debated special educational needs in the House during the last four or five months, and I am acutely aware of the issue that he raises, which is relevant to his constituency. He had the opportunity to meet my officials in order to understand better how our reforms will affect the issue that he raises, and I am happy further to discuss that with him as the Bill now moves into Committee. Our overall objective is to improve outcomes for all children with special educational needs, and clearly making sure that they have quality support and provision is at the heart of those reforms.

Mr Speaker: Order. Having myself known the hon. Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) for three decades this year, I can testify that he is indeed a persistent woodpecker.]