Under the new Disability Duties the five Education and Library Boards, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and the Staff Commission for Education and Library Boards have a duty to:
- promote positive attitudes towards disabled people; and
- encourage participation by disabled people in public life.
In implementing these new legal duties the five Boards/CCMS and the Staff Commission consulted disability groups on their Disability Action Plans. Arising from these discussions the Boards/CCMS/Staff Commission agreed to co-operate to conduct a survey on the school-based experiences of children and young people with disabilities.
Three questionnaires were devised in order to target pupils at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 and a pilot exercise to test the questionnaires and methodology to be used was conducted in June 2008.
The pilot found:
- some questions needed to be refined;
- the questionnaire would be better completed online; and
- the questionnaire was not suitable for pupils in special schools.
A Data Overview can be accessed here.
The feedback received from the pilot exercise was very valuable and enabled the Working Group to make amendments to the three questionnaires and arrange for the full survey to be completed online.
Over 900 pupils from 145 primary schools and 36 post-primary schools participated in this innovative survey which has given a voice to children and young people with special educational needs within our education system and has provided us with information which can be used by policy-makers and service providers both at strategic and operational levels in the education service.
The feedback received was analysed and a report produced. The survey report was formally launched on 10 March 2010 by the Boards, CCMS and the Staff Commission.
The Working Group is currently in discussion with representatives from Special Schools to explore mechanisms to gather information from their pupils on their experiences of the education system.
The Boards, CCMS and Staff Commission, in addition to an internal review of the findings, are issuing this report to the wider education community and the community, voluntary and trade union sectors for comment.
If you would like to comment on the report or the child friendly summary please submit your views by
Friday 30 April 2010 to Deirdre Vaugh
Staff Commission for Education and Library Boards
Telephone: 028 9049 1461
Fax: 028 9049 1744