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EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her plans are for laying before Parliament the revised Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. [1]

Estelle Morris: On 20 June, I laid before both Houses of Parliament a draft revised Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for England, as required under section 314(3) of the Education Act 1996. A Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for Wales will be placed before the National Assembly for Wales for approval separately.

I have made and laid before Parliament yesterday the Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) Regulations 2001 and the Special Educational Needs (Provision of Information by Local Education Authorities) (England) Regulations 2001. They have been made under powers provided for by parts IV and I respectively of the Education Act 1996. The Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) Regulations update and replace the Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations 1994 for England only while the Special Educational Needs (Provision of Information by Local Education Authorities) (England) Regulations 2001 required local education authorities to publish specific information about their policies for children with special educational needs. Arrangements in Wales will be considered by the National Assembly for Wales.

I have also placed in the Libraries illustrative mock-ups of the proposed final design of the revised Code of Practice. All of the documents being presented to Parliament today are being made available to the All Party Disablement Group and the All Party Children Group.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Low Pay Commission

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the recommendations of the report from the Low Pay Commission. [406]

Ms Hewitt: The Low Pay Commission (LPC) submitted volume II of its third report to the Government on 11 June. The Government are today publishing the report and the detailed Government response to its recommendations.

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The Government are required by law to lay a report before each House of Parliament explaining their response to the LPC's recommendation. That report has now been laid. It says that:







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The detail of the recommendations, and the explanation of why the recommendations for 21-year-olds has not been accepted, can be found in the full Government response placed in the Libraries of each House. The Regulations affecting the changes which the Government have accepted are subject to the affirmative procedure and will be debated in both Houses shortly. The Government have prepared a regulatory impact assessment which is also published today, and copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The Government agree with the LPC that a strategic, longer-term programme of research needs to be established. To this end the LPC is being provided with a new remit to enable it to continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of the NMW, and especially to commission longer-term research. This will help inform the Commission's analysis and recommendations to be included in its next report.