SBRI: Making better use of multi-agency data to provide more effective support for children with SEND

In  Northern Ireland in 2019 over 347,000  pupils make up the school population.
Of this number, over 21,000 children have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. This represents around 6% of the total school population.

The EA is responsible for conducting the statutory assessment which may lead to a statement.  This statutory assessment process has a timeline for completion of 26 weeks from the date of the application.

The length of time taken for the EA to issue a proposed statement must be no more than 18 weeks from the date of receipt of the parent’s request for a statutory assessment or the EA’s decision to perform an assessment, whichever is appropriate.  The EA then has a further eight weeks to issue a final statement (26 weeks in total). This assessment requires statutory advice/input from health trusts, educational settings, social services and educational psychology.  Parents are also requested to provide relevant information.

Currently the process is reliant on the exchange of paper based documentation, which has contributed to delays in completing the process within the statutory timeframes.

The EA has been awarded funding from Innovate UK’s SBRI fund to develop innovative solutions in the collection and use of multi-agency data to improve the quality of  statutory assessments and the timeliness, and hence outcomes for parents and children with SEN.  The development of innovative solutions will enable the EA to share important information with parents, schools and with external partners who provide professional advice.

The project is intended to transform how we communicate with parents and schools and significantly improve our special education statutory services. This project will improve our ability to share information in a timely way, reduce unnecessary anxiety as well as improve timeframes across the statutory process.

The first phase of this project is taking place until March 2020 and the three successful companies are Without Servers, Objectivity and Analytics Engines.

Last upated: 15/01/2020