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Appointment of Chief Executive and Board of Directors Designate for the Middletown Autism Centre

29 January, 2007


Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff has welcomed the appointment of the Chief Executive Designate and those who will form the Board of Directors for the Middletown all-island centre of excellence Centre for Autism and said that he hoped that there will be no further delays in the delivery of the vital services envisaged when Martin McGuinness was Education Minster.

Mr McElduff also welcomed the publication of the draft strategy on supporting children whose first language is not English.

Mr McElduff said:

"I share the deep sense of frustration that many parents, children and young people have had at the overly long delay at bringing this essential project on-line.

"However, now with the appointment of the Chief Executive Designate and those who will form the Board of Directors for the Middletown all-island centre of excellence Centre for Autism we must hope that there will be no further delays in the delivery of the range services envisaged when Martin McGuinness was Education Minster.

"It was unfortunate the unionists based at the Assembly refused to endorse this project when the issue of new legislation was recently debated at the Assembly. It is difficult to understand how any can oppose a centre of excellence that will deliver a training and advisory service; a research and information service; an educational assessment service and a learning support service."

On a separate issue Mr McElduff also welcomed the publication of the draft strategy on supporting children whose first language is not English.

Mr McElduff said:

"This was an issue championed by my former colleague Michael Ferguson. It is essential that additional resources reach into the classroom to support teachers and ensure that all of our children, regardless of background or indeed first language have the opportunity to make the most of their education." ENDS

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