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Independent review into Education Authority required after special educational needs report, says Lyttle

A full, independent review into the operation of the Education Authority (EA) is needed, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said.

Mr Lyttle, Chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee, was speaking following the release of an audit report into the EA’s statementing process for special educational needs (SEN) pupils. The report found a series of failings, including the security of confidential information and unnecessary delays into the statementing process.

“This report confirms the widely held concern the EA has systemically failed to assess and support children with SEN,” said Mr Lyttle.

“The Education Committee will hold the urgent delivery of the EA improvement plan to account but it is increasingly clear a full independent review of the EA must now follow.

“The welfare and development of SEN pupils should be the priority throughout this entire episode. The lack of communication from the EA to parents of pupils has characterised much of the statementing process. It is vital the Education Minister initiates a full review and ensures the severe problems identified in this report are addressed.”