The need nationally for backup for students with special educational needs by psy chologists was one of the issues investigated by the planning group for the National Educational Psychological Service whose report was published during September of last year. The planning group used estimates from the Report of the Special Education Review Committee, 1993, data provided by the Department of Health and Children and the findings from epidemiological studies carried out in other jurisdictions.
The new National Educational Psychological Service will work in close collaboration with the psychological services provided by the health boards and by those voluntary agencies which specialise in providing support for certain categories of special need. Together, they will collect information as to how much in the way of psychological support is needed by students with special educational needs. There is a commitment in the report of the planning group to giving priority for students in this category. These is also provision for continuous review and for a detailed report, at the end of the initial five year period, of the demand for services.