Mathison welcomes announcement of new Belfast special school

Alliance Education spokesperson Nick Mathison MLA has welcomed the announcement of a new special school for Belfast, but has also emphasised that any interim places made available while we wait for capital to be released need to be in appropriate accommodation.

Education Nick Mathison

The Department of Education approved the plan for the school, as well as an expansion of the existing Harberton School, depending on the availability of funding.
“It is welcome to see the approval of a new special school and the expansion of Harberton. We are acutely aware of the need for more special school capacity, and the need for a new school in Belfast in particular was identified some time ago," said Mr Mathison.
“It is understandable that many parents will be frustrated at the pace of change – places are needed now. If the EA do move to make some of these places available in a temporary location to meet demand, it is vital that children are accommodated in facilities that are fit for purpose and properly meet their needs.
“However, it is clear all this is contingent on funding being available for the projects. With the cost expected to total over £80 million, there needs to be money invested in the capital budget to deliver this. It proves once again the pressing need for a return of the Executive, so an Education Minister can oversee this issue strategically.”