Blunkett answers special needs fears

29th December 2000 at 00:00
Special needs will be identified earlier and pupils who have them will get more support under a new code of practice, ministers have pledged, writes Jon Slater.

Parents and teachers of children with special needs had argued the original draft code actually weakened the existing rules because it did not require local authorities to produce "specific, detailed" statements of their nees.

But David Blunkett, the Education Secretary, said: "It has never been our intention to weaken the legal protection for children with statements or to encourage vague statements."

Organisations representing the parents of children with disabilities called on Mr Blunkett to ensure that all statements set out in detail the amount of help that children should receive.

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