§ Mr. Beggs
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what input the working group chaired by the Department of Education to consider future provision for young people with moderate learning difficulties has made to(a) the Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability Services commissioned and led by the Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety, (b) the Children's Strategy Review led by the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers and (c) the consultation exercise on Youth Services led by the Department of Education. 1161W
§ Jane Kennedy
The Department of Education does not chair a group to consider future provision for the needs of young people specifically with moderate learning difficulties. It does, however, chair an Inter Departmental Working Group (IDG) that is looking at the transition of young people with statements of special educational needs to adult life.
(a) The Chair of the IDG is a member of the Promoting Social Inclusion sub-group of the Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability Steering Group. The Education and Training Inspectorate is represented on both the Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability Steering Group and the Children and Young People Task Group, as well as the IDG.
(b) The IDG has made no direct input to the development of the Strategy for Children and Young People. However, the Department is represented on the interdepartmental group which is overseeing the development of the strategy and through this forum will ensure that the strategy takes account of the various initiatives in which the Department is involved.
(c) It is not clear to which consultation exercise the question refers. Issues which have indications for the Youth Service will be drawn to the attention of the relevant authorities.