Press Release

Committee returns to the classroom

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 25 February 2010

Reference: EDU 06/09/10

Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Committee have gone back to the classroom to see at first hand the work of teachers and pupils at Longstone Special School. The Committee was invited to discuss the Minister of Education’s policy proposals for Special Education Needs and Inclusion with parents, governors and staff.

Chairperson of the Committee for Education, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “The Department of Education’s proposals for SEN and Inclusion have generated an unprecedented level of concern among those who are most dependent upon our education system.

“Today, we have had the opportunity to see at first hand the contribution which a Special school is making to the education of children with learning difficulties. “The Committee hopes that the Minister’s decision to extend the consultation period on her policy proposals indicates a willingness to respond positively to stakeholders’ concerns.”

The Committee for Education has received an unprecedented level of lobbying regarding the Consultation proposals, leading to a SEN event in Parliament Buildings on 20 January 2010. The event was organised to provide a platform for parents and interested stakeholders to raise their concerns directly with Department of Education officials.

A full copy of the Committee’s response to the Department of Education and a transcript of the Committee’s SEN event and associated papers can be found on the Committee website:


Notes to Editors:

The Department of Education’s Policy Proposals Consultation document closed for responses on 31 January 2010. It can be viewed on the Department’s website.

The Principal of Longstone School is Mr Trevor Howard.

Committee Membership:

Mr. Mervyn Storey (Chairperson)
Mr. Dominic Bradley (Deputy Chairperson)
Mrs. Mary Bradley
Mr. Jonathan Craig
Mr. Trevor Lunn
Mr. John McCallister
Mr. Basil McCrea
Miss. Michelle McIlveen
Mr. John O’Dowd
Ms. Michelle O’Neill
Mr. Alastair Ross

The Clerk to the Committee is John Simmons
Committee for Education,
Rm 242, Parliament Buildings,
Belfast BT4 3XX
Tel: 028 9052 1787
Mob: 07900 053929
Fax: 028 9052 1371

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