FURTHER MEMORANDUM FROM THE SOUTH EASTERN
EDUCATION AND LIBRARY BOARD
1. The statutory assessment process results
in the issue, by the Board, of a statement of special educational
needs which the Board is obliged to maintain on the child.
The Board is therefore required to provide
the funding to meet the costs of the special educational provision
detailed in the statement and which has been determined necessary
for the child/young person in the course of their compulsory attendance
at school. This applies whether it be in a special school or within
2. The Board does not operate formula funding
within the special education sector. The Board meets the costs
of the provision as outlined in (1) above.
3. The purpose of the Annual Review, as provided
for in Article 19 of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1996,
and as outlined in further detail in the Code of Practice for
the identification and assessment of special educational needs,
is to assess progress towards meeting the objectives and targets
agreed following the making of the statement.
The Annual Review also provides opportunity
to review the special provision made for the child.
The Annual Review process may involve contribution(s)
from some or all of the following:
the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator;
a representative of the Board;
a representative of the Health and
Social Services Board.
The Board has also initiated several pilot projects
in relation to provision which the Board makes at Stage 3 of the
Code (i.e., for non-statemented pupils), the purpose of which
is to monitor and evaluate the quality of its provision for children
with special educational needs.
4. The Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1996
for the first time made it a statutory requirement for schools
to publish a special educational needs policy.
The 1996 Order also placed a requirement on
the Board of Governors in the exercise of its functions and in
accordance with Article 125 of the 1989 Order to describe, as
part of the annual report to parents, what steps it has taken
to secure the implementation of its policy in relation to the
provision of education for children with special educational needs.
The Board however would welcome a process whereby
schools were made more accountable for the funds provided to them
through the LMS Scheme to make provision for pupils with special
educational needs and for targeting special needs.
5. The Education (NI) Order 1996, in Article
3, Paragraph (4)(a) and (b), states that special educational provision
(a) in relation to a child who has attained
the age of two years, educational provision which is additional
to, or otherwise different from the educational provision made
generally for children of this age in ordinary school and;
(b) in relation to a child under that age,
educational provision of any kind.
The Board uses these definitions and would interpret
them in a literal manner. The Appendix to the Code of Practice
for the Implementation and Provision of special educational needs
outlines some of the difficulties a child/young person might present
which would indicate that there was a special educational need.
Some examples of these are:
Specific learning difficulties (e.g.
Emotional and behavioural difficulties.
6. There are some circumstances in which definitions
as defined within the Code of Practice may be applied differentially.
The Board recognises that up to 20 per cent of children may have
special educational needs at some time and that 20 per cent of
the school population are likely to have such needs at any time.
In only about two per cent of cases are those needs likely to
be sufficiently severe as to require the Board to maintain a statement,
and thus determine the form of special educational provision which
should be made. Thus the definitions in the Code may be applied
in light of:
(a) the severity of the child's difficulties;
(b) the response of the child to relevant
purposeful measures taken by the school and others during Stages
1-3 of the Code;
(c) the outcome of review(s) of the child's
education plan at Stage 3.
In the case of a pupil with, for example, emotional
and behavioural difficulties, the Board, in conjunction with the
school, would attempt a number of strategies to deal with the
problem and monitor the outcome of these before considering the
need for a statutory assessment.
The Board is committed to the philosophy that
all the children in its area should be treated equitably. For
that purpose the Board has agreed criteria for schools to apply
in the identification and assessment of special educational needs
The Board has also, in liaison with the Health
and Social Services Trusts, developed criteria for the identification
and referral of children with speech and language difficulties
who may require placement in a speech and language unit (Annex
7. The Board's published policy of special educational
needs states as one of its key principles that wherever possible,
children with special educational needs will be educated in mainstream
their needs can be met in such placement;
that it is compatible with the provision
of efficient education for the children with whom the child will
be educated; and
that such provision is consistent
with the efficient use of resources.
This key principle is routinely applied to children
and young people who have a statement of special educational needs.
8. At present the Board has two categories of
children who are educated other than at schoolHome Tuition
and Group Tuition.
Home Tuition is provided for children
with medical conditions where it is the view of a Designated Officer
of the Health and Social Services Trust that the child is unfit
to attend school for a period normally in excess of four weeks.
Group Tuition is provided for children
who have been suspended or expelled from school, are school refusers,
or who have major social/emotional problems (Annex 3).
The table below indicates the cost and number
of children/young persons who have received education other than
at school during the past academic year.
| ||Costs (March 1998) £||Number
of Pupils||Percentage of full-time education provision|
The mathematical representation of the education the children
in either of these two categories receives, as a percentage of
full-time education, would not necessarily reflect accurately,
or in a meaningful way, the benefit gained from this alternative
Pupils who receive home tuition normally receive a maximum
of 8 hours per week. This is on a one-to-one basis.
Young persons at Neighbourhood Group Tuition Centres normally
have a maximum of 10 hours per week of teacher/pupil contact.
This is often supplemented by participation in other projects
e.g., work experience and/or social/personal development activities,
organised by the Board on an inter-agency/partnership basis.
9. The Board is committed to working in partnership with
other statutory bodies on issues which will enhance the effectiveness
and efficiency of the service. A number of forums has been established
to facilitate this approach between the Boards, Eastern Health
and Social Services Board and our colleagues in the Health and
Social Services Trusts at strategic level, operational level and
on an individual basis. Some examples are listed below:
Inter-Board Planning Group involving the senior management
of Health Trusts and the South Eastern Education and Library Board.
Operational areas in which there are significant co-operation
Speech and language provision.
Summer Activity Scheme for children with severe
Additional Support UnitParkview Special
School for pupils with severe challenging behaviour.
Lindsay Schoola Province-wide facility
at Forster Green Hospital for children and young persons with
psychiatric and/or emotional/behaviour difficulties.
The difficulties which arise within the partnership approach
are mostly in relation to respective roles and responsibilities.
As inter-agency working group has been established to identify
and address these issues where possible.
10. The Board has worked closely, and will continue to do
so, with other statutory bodies to develop policies for the benefit
of children with special educational needs. Some examples are
Inter-Agency Agreement between Health and Social
Services Boards and Education and Library Boards for the provision
of Health and Social Services to Children in School in Special
Child protection policies and procedures.
Speech and language provision (Annex 2).
Joint Protocol on drug abuse.
Lindsay School at Forster Green Hospital for children
and young persons with psychiatric and/or emotional/behaviour