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Kelly seeks assurance over SEN nursery provision

9 November, 2017 - by Catherine Kelly

The Education Authority (EA) must ensure that children with special educational needs (SEN) have access to appropriate levels of nursery provision, Sinn Fein MLA Catherine Kelly has said.

The party’s spokesperson for Children and Young People Catherine Kelly was commenting on reports from parents that nursery provision for children with special educational needs has been cut from four-and-a-half hours per day to two-and-a-half. The West Tyrone MLA also urged the EA to publish the findings of its review into special educational needs nursery provision.

She commented: “Following reports in March 2016 that the EA planned to cut SEN nursery provision, the then Minister for John O’Dowd tasked the EA with reviewing SEN nursery provision and to consult with schools; parents and pupils about the future of early years education in the special educational needs sector.

“This review has yet to be published and there are continuing reports of children with special educational needs being given placements of two-and-a-half hours of nursery provision per day as opposed to four-and-a-half, often against the wishes of parents.

“This is unacceptable in the context of the ongoing review. I am calling on the EA to publish their recommendations for the future of nursery provision and to provide evidence that they have engaged with parents on this crucial issue.  Most importantly the EA need to ensure that children with special educational needs have access to appropriate nursery provision.”

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