§ Dr. Ladyman
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the findings of the 1998–99 annual report of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal on cases involving autism. 
§ Jacqui Smith
The number of appeals registered with the Special Educational Needs Tribunal in 1998–99 was 2,412. Of these, 313 involved autism.
The Special Educational Needs Tribunal operates independently of Government and it would not be appropriate for the Department to comment on the cases heard.
In September 1999 I hosted an Autism in Education Seminar, which has led to the establishment of a working group tasked to identify and disseminate good practice in relation to educational provision for children with autism.