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Welsh Liberal Democrats highlight policies on Special Educational Needs

2011 Ebrill 26 2:28 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today highlighted the policies necessary to bring a new focus to supporting children with Special Educational Needs.

Welsh Liberal Democrats have costed plans to attack the Labour-Plaid spending gap in education, providing more money for schools by targeting additional money at pupils who need it the most.

In addition, focusing on Special Educational Needs, Welsh Liberal Democrats will:

  • Roll out a programme of Special Educational Needs testing across Wales, aiming to identify children who have learning, communication or other difficulties early on.
  • Commission research to ensure that children with complex needs who are due to attend special schools in England can have access to schooling here in Wales. Close proximity to families and communities improves the quality of life for children.
  • Expand the duty on councils to provide school transport to include provision for disabled pupils.

Highlighting the Welsh Liberal Democrat proposals on a visit to Amelia Trust Farm, a working farm which supports and educate vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, Eluned Parrott, Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for South Wales Central, said:

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats committment is to give education the priority it deserves. We will tackle the Labour-Plaid spending gap which sees the scandalous situation in which Welsh children have £600 less spent on their education than children in England.

"Education is the key investment we can make for all our children and we must bring a new energy and determination to our approach to Special Educational Needs.

"By rolling out a programme of special educational needs testing across Wales, we can ensure that we identify children who have learning, communication or other difficulties early on so that they then receive the right support.

Damian Chick, Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for South Wales Central, and the only wheel-chair user standing for election to the Assembly, said:

"Transport to schools is a real issue for parents and children across Wales but never more so than for disabled children, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will expand the duty on councils to provide school transport to include provision for disabled pupils."