Multi-agency work can be inherently flawed, Peter Farrell, professor of special needs at Manchester University, told the conference. It was seen by government as "the answer" but threw up its own problems such as professional jealousies and salary differentials.
"In multi-agency work, the person with the power, status and higher salary usually makes the decision but often knows the child less well. The person with the least qualifications, status and salary knows the child best but has the least power, people such as auxiliary nurses," Professor Farrell said. Venues also mattered and it was important not to hold meetings in the same place.
Scotland, with just over 400 psychologists, has proportionately far more than England, with 2,800, Professor Farrell said.