Supplementary Memorandum from Western
Health and Social Services Board
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDSSUPPLEMENTARY
Please find enclosed our response to the Supplementary
Questions raised by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. The
information draws on the existing information systems used in
the Trusts areas. These are not yet subsumed into what is known
as the Child Health SystemModule V which will be introduced
in the near future. Consequently the information asked for cannot
always be produced consistently across both Trusts and it is for
this reason that the data included is not complete for the whole
Board's area. This problem will be remedied in due course.
Q1. How many children have been referred to the
Board for assessment for the purposes of SEN statements in each
of the last five years, in total and by type of professional assessment?
A total number of 1,531 children were referred
to the Board for the purposes of SEN statements in the last five
years. It is only possible to give a breakdown in each year for
Foyle Trust and the Fermanagh sector of Sperrin Lakeland Trust
All new referralsnot available by type of professional assessment
Medical Advice for Statementing1
to July 1993
to July 1994
to July 1995
to July 1996
to July 1997
to July 1998
1 These figures are totals which include all for whom Medical Advice for Statementing (Appendix D at that time) was completed. It therefore includes those who had a formal 14+ re-assessment of SENs, now done as the Transition Plan assessment.
2 74 = 55 initial and 19 Transition Plan.
Type of Professional Assessment
This information is not routinely collected in the Western
Board, but a recent audit of 55 initially referred in 1997-98
in Fermanagh shows the following:
27 (43 per cent) required speech therapy report.
19 (30 per cent) required occupational therapy report.
9 (14 per cent) required physiotherapy report.
8 (13 per cent) required other reports e.g., child and adolescent
Q2. What has been the average time lapse between referral and
actual assessment in each of the last five years, overall and
by type of professional assessment?
Foyle TrustNot available by type of professional assessment.
Average time lapse between referral and actual assessment for medical profession
Year but not
Fermanagh Sector of Sperrin Lakeland Trust
An audit carried out in 1995-96 in Fermanagh showed that
66 per cent were returned within six weeks, the average time was
7.5 weeks and the maximum delay was 10 weeks. Since the appointment
of a locum Community Medical Officer (CMO) in 1996 there has been
no delay in the return of medical advice.
Q3. What has been the total number of children with statements
of special needs to whom the Board has provided support in each
of the last five years, in total, and broken down by type of support?
Foyleinformation not available as this information
is currently not recorded consistently across the professional
OmaghAs a general rule, statemented children
and children in special schools are seen every year by the CMO
and School Nurse for medical examination and for vision and hearing
Fermanaghapproximately 250 statemented over
the five year period with an additional 55-60 new statements each
All in mainstream and special schools seen annually for vision,
audio and medical.
Professions Allied to Medicine (PAM) input to a significant
number, but no easily available figures.
Q4. What clinical psychology/psychiatric services does the
Board provide for children and young people of school age; what
resources are committed to this; to what extent are the services
provided separately from services to adults; and for how many
such persons have such services been provided in each of the last
Learning Disability Programme
The Learning Disability Programme caters for both adults
and children. The Programme has its own psychology and psychiatric
staff. Respite care is provided separately at point of delivery.
The medical and nursing services are Board-wide with the
following funded establishment:
|Community Learning Disability Nurses||11.59
|Social Care is provided on a Trust wide basis
|Assistant Principal Social Worker||1
|Senior Social Worker||2
There are currently 423 children known to the Learning Disability
Programme, all of whom may avail of specialist services in a multi-disciplinary
setting on an ongoing basis or from time to time.
Hospital services are provided to children in a totally separate
care environment from adults; there are five admission beds, with
seven staff, for the assessment and treatment of children.
In Foyle, there are eight community respite places for children,
and 20 host families who provide respite mostly for children.
Each year approximately 80 children participate in a summer
scheme, run over a period of one month, in Stradreagh Hospital.
In Sperrin Lakeland there are currently five residential
respite places for children and adults which are provided at separate
times. This will increase to seven during the summer period. There
are 33 host families who provide respite for both children and
adults separately. The Trust also buys into Mencap's Gateway summer
projects and the Share scheme in Lisnaskea on both a residential
and day case basis21 respite weeks are purchased at Share
with 40 days purchased through Mencap.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
Child and adolescent mental health services are completely
distinct from adult services. Referrals are taken for children
up to the age of 16.
Within the Board, there are two specialist Mental Health
multi-disciplinary teams for children and adolescents. These teams
are staffed by:
One Clinical Psychologist
One Clinical Psychologist
The numbers of individuals who have had contact with the
Teams in each of the last five years were:
1Prior to June 1995 there was one Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry Team covering the entire Western Board area; from June
1995 a second team was formed, one based in Foyle and the second
in Sperrin Lakeland.
Q5. How many children in residential care in the Board's Area
had SEN statements in each of the last five years, and what percentage
was this of the total such population?
|Children resident in Children's Homes in Foyle Trust Area who have had SEN statements during the years 1994-98
in Homes at
who have been
|Source: Children's Homes.|
Not available for Sperrin Lakeland as children with special needs are not flagged up separately on their computer system.
Q6. What training has been given to social services staff (and
social workers in particular) regarding the requirements of the
Education Order and the SEN Code of Practice, and what financial
and other resources have been devoted to this?
A number of social workers attended a joint workshop with
the Education and Library Board in 1996. However, further training
is planned for the following staff during March/April 1999. This
is being resourced in-house through the Western Board's Social
Services Training Team in co-operation with the WELB and has been
initiated via a standing committee representing the WELB
and the WHSSB and the Trusts.
Social WorkersPhysical and Sensory Disability
Social WorkersLearning Disability
Team LeadersFamily and Childcare.
Training has been provided to PAMs and CMOs through ongoing
meetings with Mr O'Loane, Special Education Officer for the Western
health and Social Services Board.
Q7. What has been the Board's actual expenditure related to
assessing and meeting special educational needs in each of the
last three financial years, and what is your projected spend in
1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01?
Foyle50 per cent of Community Paediatricians'
time spent assessing and meeting special educational needs, approximately
£90,000 per annum.
Sperrin LakelandInformation is not available.
The amount spent on services to children with special educational
needs is not currently disaggregated across the various programmes
of care and is therefore not available.
4 March 1999
of the letters referred to in Appendix 13, Annex 2 have been reported
to the House. Back