Further Memorandum from the Independent
Panel for Special Education Advice (IPSEA)
Thank you for your letter of 26 June 1998 requesting
a memorandum setting out our views on the Code of Practice and
its implications for children with special educational needs.
We have now had sight of the Code in its final form and our concerns
centre around the fact that certain parental rights afforded to
parents in England and Wales by the Special Educational Needs
Regulations in force, they appear in the Northern Ireland Code,
but have not been given the strength of legislation. Instead they
have been weakened to a direction which Education and Library
Boards in Northern Ireland "must have regard to".
The rights to which I refer are the duty on
the LEA to respond to a parental request for assessment within
six weeks and the duty to respond to a request for a change of
named school within eight weeks. We are of the opinion that inclusion
of these time limits in the Code is, on its own, not sufficient
protection for children in Northern Ireland and we intend to pursue
the matter further.
5 July 1998