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Mullan welcomes Special Educational Needs commitment

1 June, 2018 - by Karen Mullan

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Karen Mullan has welcomed a commitment from the Education Authority (EA) that there will be no change to special school provision in Belfast ‘without the full involvement of parents and a rigorous consultation process’.

The commitment was contained in a letter sent to parents and follows concerns over reports that the EA is planning to close and merge a number of special schools in Belfast.

Karen Mullan said: “I was contacted by a parent of a special needs pupil who received the letter and this commitment does go some way to relieving the concerns that first emerged in March so that is a welcome step.

“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.

“Their response is certainly a step forward from the original EA approach which clearly had a pre-determined outcome.

“They have now committed to fully involving parents in the process and to rigorous consultation as well as acknowledging some of the failings in the process up to now.

“That is welcome but we will continue to engage closely with the EA and department to ensure the process is properly managed and the very best possible provision is put in place.”

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