RISE: supporting children’s health, development and learning together

RISE: supporting children’s health, development and learning together

A new regional integrated health and social care service working directly in mainstream primary schools supporting children has been launched today (Thursday 18 May).

‘RISE’ (Regional Integrated Support for Education) will enable staff from the health and social care and education sectors to work closely together to help children access learning and enhance their development to reach their full potential.

A range of healthcare professionals from teams within Health and Social Care Trusts including; Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Behavioural Therapists, Clinical Psychologists and Therapy Assistants are now attending all primary schools across Northern Ireland providing a range of multidisciplinary child-focussed programmes.

The teams will deliver training, advice and support for parents and education staff and provide integrated early interventions for children on a group or individual basis depending on the needs of the children. The service ensures better outcomes for all children and any barriers to their learning are addressed as early as possible in the classroom.

Activities delivered to the children through play include; Listen and Move, Captain Cool, Chill Times, Sounds Fun, Pencil Skills, Body Awareness and Physical Education. The Teams work alongside teachers to run the activities and help transfer the children’s skills into the classroom and together they identify the areas where children are struggling and provide joint ideas and intervention to support them in their learning.

RISE has been developed and funded in partnership by the Health and Social Care Board, Public Health Agency and Education Authority.

Speaking at the launch Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care with the Health and Social Care Board explained:

“The RISE service was set up following a review of existing services across Northern Ireland and the need for a consistent approach across all schools. The service will identify and support children who may only need that initial help, or to identify children who even with that support, need to be supported further, within the Health and Social Care and Education systems.”

“Schools are now better prepared and equipped for children with delays in speech, coordination and motor skills difficulties with help and support from a range of healthcare professionals, she said.”

Highlighting the importance of integrated working, Clare Mangan, the Education Authority’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services commented:

“The Education Authority welcomes the launch of the new ‘RISE’ service as part of our continuing partnership with health professionals to support our children and young people at the earliest possible stages.”

Assistant Director of Allied Health Professionals and Personal and Public Involvement, Michelle Tennyson from the Public Health Agency commended the work delivered by the RISE teams and added:

“The impact of motor difficulties and speech, language and communication delays are well documented in affecting children achieve to their optimum at school. The work delivered by these teams are ensuring difficulties not only are identified early but that they get the right support to ensure the child can do all the things they need to do to learn and develop.”

Delighted to the hosting the regional launch, Paul Cloughley. Vice Principal from Saints and Scholars Primary School in Armagh said:

“We are proud to host the launch of the RISE initiative. The skills and principles of RISE are areas that we consider to be vital to the whole development of each and every child within our school. From the sensory circuits exercises, which provide a positive start to the child’s school day with alerting, organising and calming activities; to the Healthy Kidz classes which promote physical literacy and engage the children in a fun games to develop stamina and fitness. At times life can present challenges, and the activities in our nurture room are conducive to helping our children feel positive about themselves. We look forward to working with the RISE team in the future for the benefit of all of our children.”

RISE is based on 4 key areas:

  • Delivered through Partnership Working
  • Ensuring Accessibility for all children
  • A Child-Centred Approach
  • Delivered through Transdisciplinary Working

The ‘Regional Integrated Support for Education (RISE)’ teams which will replace the previous titles;

  • CIDS – Children’s Interdisciplinary Service – BHSCT
  • MASTS – Multi-Agency Support Teams for Schools – NHSCT
  • ASCET – Additional Support for Children in Education Teams – SET
  • ACE – Assisting Children in Education – SHSCT
  • WEST – Western Education Support Teams – WHSCT