§ Bob Spink
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what alternative provision he will put in place to meet the needs of people with special needs who are excluded from attending their clubs on attaining the age of 25; 
(2) for what reason it was decided to set 25 as the age at which to exclude people with special needs from the clubs they had been attending; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) whether it is his policy, with reference to the document "Resourcing Excellence in Youth Services", launched in December, that people with special needs should be excluded from youth services when they reach the age of 25; 
(4) what provision he will make for people with serious learning difficulties to continue to be able to attend their clubs after reaching the age of 25; 
(5) what his policy is on the exclusion of people with serious learning difficulties from youth and other clubs at the age of 25; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
Local education authorities (the statutory sector) and a range of voluntary organisations provide the Youth Service. The priority age group for the service is 13 to 19-year-olds but the target age group may extend to 11 to 25-year-olds in some cases.542W
Provision is usually in the form of youth clubs and centres, or through "detached" or outreach work aimed at young people at risk from alcohol or drug misuse, or of drifting into crime. There is an increasing emphasis on youth workers working with disadvantaged, disaffected, and socially excluded young people.
In December 2002 the Government launched the document "Transforming Youth Work Resourcing Excellent Youth Services" which provides a cross Government view of the key elements of a high quality, well managed and properly resourced Youth Service. The document underpins the Transforming Youth Work programme and the Government's commitment to work with local authorities to ensure the delivery of a high quality Youth Service for young people which is at the heart of the Connexions Service. The document emphasises that local authorities should ensure the delivery of a service which targets the 13–19 age range but may also be working at the margins with 11–13 and 19 to 25-year-olds. The document confirms this existing age range criteria for the Youth Service.
Under the Learning and Skills Act, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has a specific responsibility to help both young people and adults with learning difficulties and disabilities. The broad remit of the council enables it to fund a wide range of learning provision when considering their particular needs. This includes activities offering opportunities for non-formal types of learning, and learning which does not lead to a qualification. For adults, particularly those with special needs, this provision will be more suitable than a youth work curriculum provided by the Youth Service.
I do not intend making a statement at this time.