Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Eleven roadshows across the North to discuss Special Educational Needs

10 September, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

A series of public roadshows on the Review of Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (SEN) will take place this month.

The 11 roadshows, led by the Department of Education, will discuss the policy proposals emerging from the SEN Review and will be held across the north of Ireland.

Speaking at St.Paul’s High School, Bessbrook to launch the public roadshows, Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane said: “These meetings will give parents, voluntary groups, educational professionals and anyone with an interest in SEN, the opportunity to hear the proposals first hand. I want everyone to have a chance to comment on the proposals, put forward ideas and help us strengthen the provision for children and young people with special educational needs.

“We need a system that is more responsive, one which can adapt quickly to remove barriers to learning so that every child has the best chance of reaching their potential.”

In July this year, the Executive gave its agreement to the policy proposals emerging from this review, enabling the 12 week public consultation to begin in August and finish on 31 October 2009.

“Today, over 18% of our children and young people in school have special educational needs and one in four experience greater difficulties in learning than their peers. That is why this public consultation is so vitally important, we must take this opportunity to create a robust and accountable framework and provide as much support as possible for pupils, teachers and parents.

“I look forward to receiving views and comments on the proposals from parents, pupils, professionals and encourage anyone with an interest in the area of SEN to send in your thoughts and ideas.”


1. The roadshows will take place from 4.00pm – 6.00pm at the following venues and are open to the public;Tuesday 8 September 2009, Glenavon Hotel, CookstownWednesday 9 September 2009, Marine Court Hotel, BangorTuesday 15 September 2009, Everglades Hotel, Derry Wednesday 16 September 2009, Killyhevlin Hotel, EnniskillenThursday 17 September 2009, Leisureplex, LisburnTuesday 22 September 2009, Leighinmohr House, BallymenaWednesday 23 September 2009, Strule Arts Centre, OmaghThursday 24 September 2009, Beechlawn Hotel, BelfastMonday 28 September 2009 , The Lodge, ColeraineTuesday 29 September 2009, Canal Court Hotel, NewryWednesday 30 September 2009, Armagh City Hotel, Armagh

Connect with Sinn Féin