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Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Service (DARS)

DARS came into effect on 1 September 2005 as part of the Special Education and Disability Order (SENDO). The aim of this regional service is to provide opportunities to resolve disagreements pertaining to the special educational provision being made for a child or young person. The disagreements may have arisen between a Parent /Guardian and either a School or Education and Library Board.

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Alternative Education Provision (AEP)

Alternative Education Provision is provided for pupils in Key Stage 4, in Alternative Education Centres based strategically within the South Eastern Education and Library Board. These are located in Laganvalley Centre (Lisburn), Ardmore House (Downpatrick), Lisnasharragh AEP (Castlereagh) and Redburn AEP (Holywood). The Laganvalley Project was initially established by the local community to meet the needs of the young people out of school in the area, but has developed into a strategic partnership between the AEP provision in the SEELB and Laganvalley Project. Across the centres there are 60 places available, with 15 in each centre, and one respite place per centre, thus 63 places available. All of these young people are in Key Stage 4 and are thus 14 – 16 years of age. Very occasionally an exception is made for a Year 10 child who has absolutely no placement and would be better served within the AEP provision.

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Special Needs

The SPECIAL EDUCATION service is responsible for identifying and assessing children who may have special educational needs and for securing appropriate provision for any child on whom a statutory assessment has been carried out, resulting in a statement of special educational needs. The procedure is carried out in accordance with the Education (N Ireland) Order 1996 and the Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs. 

In addition to a number of special schools and special units, a range of support services is provided to assist mainstream schools to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs. Further details are contained in the Board's Special Educational Needs Policy or are available from the Education Officer (Special Education).

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