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A revised draft of the Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs was laid before Parliament today. It takes into account responses to public consultation and will be published and made widely available if it receives Parliamentary approval.

Schools Minister Eric Forth said: 'This draft Code, if approved by Parliament, will benefit all children with special educational needs and their parents.

It will help schools and local education authorities, working in partnership with parents, identify, assess and make provision for children with special educational needs quickly and effectively.

'The 1993 Education Act and the proposed Code are a major development in provision for children with special educational needs. Schools and local education authorities, the health services and social services will all be obliged to consider what the Code says when they decide what they should do for children with special needs. They cannot ignore it.' . Two sets of Regulations relating to the Code have also been laid today: the Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations 1994, which are concerned with the making of assessments and statements; and the Education (Special Educational Needs) (Information) Regulations 1994, which are concerned with schools' policies on special educational needs.

The Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations 1994 replace the 1983 regulations. They include timescales within which local education authorities must make assessments and statements. Together with the Education (Special Educational Needs) (Information) Regulations 1994, they will come into effect on 1 September 1994.

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