The Education Act (1981) was brought into effect on 1 September 1983. Explanatory and guidance documents were published in 1983. The Education Act has effects on the work of child and adolescent psychiatrists in two ways. Firstly it affects those in-patient and day units that have education on the premises. Secondly it affects the placement of children who have special educational needs because of emotional or behavioural problems, the children who in the past would have been deemed maladjusted. While child psychiatrists should be involved in all cases where emotional and behavioural problems are the main issue, they will also be involved with some of the children who have special educational needs because of intellectual and learning difficulties, children who in the past were deemed educationally subnormal. These children between them constitute a high proportion of those who will, under the new Act, be subjects of statements of need.
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