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More evidence review of SEN provision is needed, says Lyttle

A major report which found an ongoing failure to address issues with special educational needs (SEN) provision by the Department of Education and Education Authority (EA) is yet more evidence of the need for a review of the sector, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said.

The report, by the Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, looked at how the Department and EA supports SEN children. It states there is a culture within the EA, allowing it to continually deliver a sub-standard service. It also calls for an evaluation of all types of SEN support provided, with benchmarking and data collection to demonstrate the progress children make.

“Alliance has called for an independent review of the SEN sector for a number of years now,” said Mr Lyttle, Chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee.

“I thank all those who contributed to this report, as well as previous reports into provision for SEN children. They all come to the same conclusion – while they rightly praise those who deliver education on the frontline, there have been unacceptable difficulties faced by children with SEN and their families, many of whom feel the system has let them down.

“The Education Committee has sought regular updates from the EA about recommendations to help and improve this sector, and we will be hearing further from them in the coming weeks. The only solution to help those who need it the most is a complete root and branch review of the sector, so we can be confident the system is providing the best possible education and care it can.”