Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Department of Education and Skills
Psychological Assessments Waiting Times
178. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of pupils in County Louth who are currently awaiting an educational assessment under the scheme for commissioning psychological assessments; the length of time each child currently on the waiting list has been waiting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4725/17]
As the Deputy may be aware my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides an educational psychological service to schools through the direct assignment of a NEPS psychologist and in some cases through by providing schools access to the Scheme for Commissioning Psychological Assessments (SCPA) where schools can have an assessment carried out by a member of the panel of private psychologists approved by NEPS, and NEPS will pay the psychologist the fees for this assessment directly. SCPA is utilised, in the main, where as yet unfilled vacancies exist in NEPS staffing provision locally or where staffing resource is lost through extended leave (maternity, sick or carer’s leave).
By way of information to the Deputy, schools are advised as to the access path contact details and the level of access to the SCPA panel in the course of the academic year. It is the school that makes the appropriate arrangements in relation to those pupils for whom assessment is indicated and schedules the assessment directly with the panel psychologist. My Department’s NEPS service receives, post hoc, confirmation that the assessment has taken place, certification that it has been satisfactorily delivered and shared with parents and a copy of the assessment report produced. On this basis an agreed payment is made by NEPS to the SCPA psychologist involved.