Honeyford dismayed by failure to provide SEN pupils adequate school transport provision

Alliance Lagan Valley MLA David Honeyford has said the failure to provide school transport for children with special educational needs is simply the latest blow in a long line of examples of how those most in need of support in our communities are being failed.

Education David Honeyford Lagan Valley Special Educational Needs

He was speaking following reports that pupils at special schools in his Lagan Valley constituency have been left without school transport since the start of term.

“Many of these children rely on established routines in all aspects of their lives, with a dependable school routine being of paramount importance. The first few weeks back to school after the summer break are a crucial period of settling-in for children in all schools, but they are particularly important for pupils with special educational needs," said Mr Honeyford.


“Children with special educational needs both in Lagan Valley and across NI have been repeatedly let down by the system here, that should be aiming to provide them with the best possible standard of education. This failure to prioritise ensuring suitable transport is simply another example of the lack of support being shown for some of our most vulnerable. It's unacceptable.


“The repeated failures are wide-reaching and apply both to children in special schools and those in mainstream settings, however.

“In July alone, almost 400 children were still awaiting placement in a special school. Even further back, in June, funding for dedicated staff in mainstream schools to support pupils with special educational needs was cut in half. Our children deserve better than this when it comes to their right to an education.


“I understand the EA has apologised to parents affected by the lack of school transport and has said it is working to resolve the issue. I look forward to seeing a speedy resolution to a matter that has caused a great amount of distress and upset to children and their parents.”