Press Release

Committee Welcomes Further Extension to Special Educational Needs Consultation

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Friday, 04 December 2009

Reference: EDU 02/09/10

The Committee for Education at the Northern Ireland Assembly has welcomed the announcement by the Minister of Education to further extend the consultation on Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion Review.

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “The Committee’s evidence sessions have highlighted a huge level of parental and professional concern with the Department of Education’s proposals for SEN. The Committee had already requested the Minister extend the deadline for responses, which she duly did. In light of the volume of concerns, the Committee raised the issue of a further extension and welcomes the Minister’s decision to extend the consultation period to the end of January 2010.

“The Committee hopes that this indicates a willingness by the Minister to take on board the concerns of parents and professionals living and working with children with Special Educational Needs."

The Committee this week agreed to host an event at Parliament Buildings in January 2010 to provide an opportunity for parents, pupils and professionals working in this area to discuss the Department’s proposals for SEN & Inclusion. The Committee will invite officials from the Department of Education to hear the concerns being raised by those whom the changes will affect.

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

The Committee for Education met in Parliament Buildings at 2.00 pm on Wednesday, 02 December, 2009.
The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr Mervyn Storey MLA
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr Dominic Bradley MLA

The Committee has a further nine members:
Mrs Mary Bradley MLA
Mr Trevor Lunn MLA
Mr John McCallister MLA
Mr Jonathon Craig MLA
Mr Basil McCrea MLA
Miss Michelle McIlveen MLA
Mr John O’Dowd MLA
Ms Michelle O’Neill MLA
Mr Alastair Ross MLA

On 25 November 2009 the Committee met with representatives from the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council;
Mr Seamus Searson, NASUWT
Mr Mark Langhammer, ATL
Mr Kevin Smyth, INTO
Ms Audrey Stewart, UTU, and
Mr Aidan Dolan, NAHT

On 11 November 2009 the Committee met with representatives of the Children with Disabilities Strategic Alliance:
Elaine Conway, Children in Northern Ireland;
Heather Larkin, Special Education Needs Advisory Service;
Rachel Hogan, Children’s Law Centre;
Alan Sheeran, National Deaf Children’s Society;
Pascal McKeown, Mencap

The Clerk to the Committee is:
Mr. John Simmons
Clerk, Committee for Education
Rm 242, Parliament Buildings
Belfast BT4 3XX
Tel: 02890521787
Mob: 07900053929
Fax: 02890521371
Email: john.simmons@niassembly.gov.uk

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