HC Deb 13 March 1997 vol 292 c303W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to improve respite care facilities for special school students and their parents in the North Down and Ards area; and what factors underlay the closure of the South Eastern education and library board's summer schemes. [18755]

Mr. Ancram

There is no statutory requirement for education and library boards to provide summer schemes at special schools and my Department has no approval function to exercise. I understand that, in reaching its decision to discontinue the schemes, the board took into account concerns about the supervision and safety of pupils.

Mr. John D. Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the respite care centre at Beechfield avenue, Conlig, Newtownards, will come into service; and if he will make statement. [18757]

Mr. Moss

A range of services for children with learning disability are currently provided by the centre. An afternoon club offering after school respite will restart shortly. Full use will be made of the facility as soon as an analysis of the findings of a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the needs of families with children with learning disability has been completed.