§ Baroness Jeger
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made towards the implementation of the Education Act 1981.
§ Lord Elton
Section 14 of the Education Act 1981, relating to the discontinuance of maintained special schools, was brought into effect on 5th January 1982. A series of regional conferences on the Act has been held, attended by local education authority and departmental representatives. A national conference of voluntary bodies is to be held on 15th November. Local education authorities are known to be reviewing their arrangements for special education in the light of the requirements of the Act. Following consultations with the local authority organisations and other interested bodies, regulations and a circular of guidance are being prepared on the assessment of children under the Act. Regulations on the approval of special schools and independent schools wishing to admit children with statements of special educational need are also in preparation. It had been hoped that these regulations would be ready in time to bring the remaining provisions of the Act into force in January next. This will not be possible and, in order to give the local authorities adequate time in which to take account of the regulations, my right honourable friends the Secretary of State for Education and Science and the Secretary of State for Wales now plan to bring these provisions into force at the beginning of April 1983.