'New approach to special education provision needed' - Mullan
There must be a new approach to the provision of special needs education in Belfast, Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has said.
The party’s Education spokesperson commented: “Sinn Féin has met with the Education Authority and the Department of Education on a number of occasions to stress the need for a new approach to Special Needs provision in Belfast. In a number of our meetings with both organisations we made it clear that a new approach was needed, given the adverse reactions as to how the process was being managed to date.
“After speaking to parents, teachers and the unions, Sinn Féin is clear that the current process was not only not working but was actually driving a wedge between all of those who needed to work together to help improver the lives and educational outcomes for children with special needs.
“Any new process going forward must be one that does not have a pre-determined outcome and be inclusive of a wide range of stakeholders which includes parents and union representatives.
“What we do not want see is a re-run of the last few weeks were parents were left distressed and fearful of what was going to happen, that would be a recipe for disaster.
“We are calling on the Education Authority to make its position clear and to relieve the pressures that parents, schools and teachers are currently living under.
“Sinn Féin welcome and have been calling for continued investment in Special Education and hope that any new consultation will provide the information needed to shape and deliver improved education and development outcomes for children with Special Needs.”