Children with special educational needs left behind yet again, says Egan

Education Connie Egan Special Educational Needs

Children with special educational needs (SEN) have been left behind yet again, Alliance Education spokesperson Connie Egan MLA has said, after it was revealed more than 300 are currently without a school place for September.

The Education Authority (EA) said it was currently working to get the 91 children waiting for a place in a special school and 202 seeking a place in a mainstream school placed.

“The numbers of SEN pupils without a school place is a failure of area planning on part of the Education Minister and the EA,” said North Down MLA Ms Egan.

“The Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee report on its review of SEN stated children and their families had been failed for many years by the EA. It is clear lessons have not been learnt on this issue and once again, communication from the EA to children and their families has been incredibly poor.

“Alliance has long called for a root and branch review into the EA’s approach to SEN. However, this matter needs addressed and addressed now. The Education Minister must intervene immediately to ensure all children have a school place in September.

“Children with SEN should be a priority for the Department of Education and EA. Instead of being left behind yet again, we need to support these pupils so their needs are met.”