MLA Hale quizzes visiting minister on subject of special educational needs

In Dromore last week Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale quizzed visiting education minister Peter Weir - in town for a Dromore Central PS thanksgiving service - on the subject of Special Educational needs funding.

“In Northern Ireland,” she said later, “figures show there are 8,685 pupils of a post-primary age with a statement of Special Educational Needs and there are 7,616 pupils of a primary school age with a SEN statement.

“In both cases over 70% of those children with SEN statements are attending mainstream primary and post-primary Schools.” She added: “With an ever increasing demand for SEN support, I welcome that funding has been protected for SEN services such as classroom assistants and I’m pleased that the Education Minister has made a commitment to continue to work with the NI Executive to secure additional funding for Special Educational Need services, should the Education Authority identify budget pressures for SEN which cannot be met within the EA budget. We must reposition children back to the centre of our education policy, ensuring no child falls through the net.”