Committee Listens to Concerns on Special Educational Needs

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 25 November 2009

Reference: EDU 01/09/10

Children with special educational needs were top of the agenda again today as the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education met the NI Teachers’ Council to hear concerns about the Department of Education’s proposals for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion.

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “The concerns raised today add further weight to those raised by other stakeholders about some of the Department’s proposals for SEN & Inclusion. Theprofessional perspective of the Teachers’ Council will help inform the Committee’s scrutiny of these proposals.”

In light of stakeholders’ concerns, the Committee asked the Minister to extend the deadline for responses to her proposals. The Minister subsequently announced a month’s extension and responses must now reach the Department by 30 November.

The Committee heard from representatives of the Children with Disabilities Strategic Alliance two weeks ago about their Members’ serious concerns regarding these proposals.

Mervyn Storey went on to say: “There is concern amongst teachers, parents and the public about this Review of SEN. I welcome the Minister’s decision to extend the consultation period on her Department’s proposals and hope that it indicates a willingness to take on board the concerns of parents and professionals living and working with children with Special Educational Needs."

ENDS

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