Education and Skills Committee

21 July 2005

Special Educational Needs

The Education and Skills Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into Special Educational Needs.

The Committee will be looking at the following issues:

  • Provision for SEN pupils in 'mainstream' schools: availability of resources and expertise; different models of provision.

  • Provision for SEN pupils in Special Schools.

  • Raising standards of achievement for SEN pupils.

  • The system of statements of need for SEN pupils ('the statementing process').

  • The role of parents in decisions about their children's education.

  • How special educational needs are defined

  • Provision for different types and levels of SEN, including emotional, behavioural and social difficulties (EBSD).

  • The legislative framework for SEN provision and the effects of the Disability Act 2001, which extended the Disability Discrimination Act to education.

Written submissions are welcome and should arrive no later than Monday 3 October. Oral evidence sessions are expected to begin at the end of October. A guide for written submissions to the Committee may be found on the parliamentary website at:

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to with an additional paper copy to:

Education and Skills Select Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London  SW1P 3JA

All Committee publications and press releases are available on our website:

Information about the Education and Skills Committee

The Education and Skills Committee is one of the House's Select Committees related to government departments: its terms of reference are to examine "the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Education and Skills and its associated public bodies".  The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry, within the overall terms of reference.  It invites written evidence from interested parties and holds public evidence sessions, usually in committee rooms at the House of Commons, although it does have the power to meet away from Westminster.  At the end of each inquiry, the Committee will normally agree a Report based on the evidence received. Such Reports are published and made available on the Internet.  Copies are sent free to those who give oral evidence. Reports usually contain recommendations to the Government and other bodies.  The Government by convention responds to reports within about two months of publication.  These responses are also published.