I propose to take Questions Nos. 657 to 659, inclusive, together.
There are currently 42 cases listed before the High Court relating to actions taken by the parents or guardians of individuals who have been diagnosed as autistic.
I regard it as unacceptable that any parent, and particularly a parent of a child with special needs, should find it necessary to resort to litigation to secure their child's educational entitlements. While this Government has presided over an unprecedented level of improvement in special education services, I am aware that much work remains to be done.
A key development in this regard is the recent report of the planning group established in my Department to make recommendations on the arrangements which should be put in place to ensure the most effective provision of high quality co-ordinated services at all stages of education for students with disabilities.