Special Educational Needs Proposal Scrutinised

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 20 January 2010

Reference: EDU 04/09/10

The proposals for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion were under scrutiny today at an event organised by the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education.

Speaking just before the event Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “The proposed policy changes to Special Educational Needs have created major concerns and anxieties for parents, teachers and organisations representing children with disabilities.

“The Committee has invited the Department of Education to attend the event and explain its proposals and clarify issues causing very real worries for parents and representative organisations.”

The Department of Education is due to present its proposals and take questions from specialist panels of stakeholders. Invited guests will also be given the opportunity to ask specific questions about the impact of the proposed changes in an attempt to clarify what the proposed changes at policy level will actually mean at a practical level for children and parents.

“In the midst of so many unanswered questions, it is important to remember that this is about vulnerable children and their future.”

The Committee has already heard from a wide range of stakeholders who have voiced serious concerns regarding these proposals. As a result, the Committee called on the Minister to extend the consultation period and welcomed her decision to do so. It was stressed that concerned parents and organisations representing children should submit their response to the consultation by the deadline of 31 January 2010 - if they have not already done so.

ENDS

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