Education Committee Expresses Dismay Over Mismanagement of SEN Statementing Process

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 04 March 2020

Reference: EDUC 01/19/20

The Assembly’s Education Committee received a briefing today from the Education Authority (EA) on the findings of its recent internal audit of the Special Educational Needs Statementing process. 

The audit was initiated in response to a whistle-blower account in late 2019. The account underlined that documentation was poorly organised and delays had reached unacceptable levels. 

Speaking after the meeting, the Committee Chairperson, Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The findings of the Education Authority’s internal audit process underlines what can only be described as an appalling and distinct lack of managerial oversight and good governance. 

“The Committee as a whole has been shocked and disheartened by what it regards as a culture of disorganisation and reactivity. Statutory timescales should always be adhered to. They are there to ensure that our most vulnerable children receive the urgent help and support they require and are entitled to.” 

Mr Lyttle concluded: “While we have been somewhat reassured that the Education Authority has undertaken this audit and recognised its failings, we now want to see a comprehensive and far reaching programme of transformation. The Committee is very clear that the onus is now firmly on the Education Authority and the Department of Education to ensure that the right policy, systems and people are put in place allied with the necessary cultural change in order to ensure that a situation like this does not arise in the future.”


Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Chris Lyttle MLA

Deputy Chairperson: Karen Mullan MLA

Maurice Bradley MLA

Robbie Butler MLA

William Humphrey MLA

Catherine Kelly MLA

Daniel McCrossan MLA

Justin McNulty MLA

Robin Newton MBE MLA