Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has called on the Education Authority to address serious concerns on Special Educational Needs provision during the COVID pandemic.
Speaking following a sitting of the Education Committee, the Foyle MLA said:
“Today we heard harrowing testimony from representatives of the Evangelical Alliance and the National Autism Society on the lockdown experience for children with autism and other needs.
“Witnesses provided heart breaking evidence about the reality of the issues which children with profound special educational needs and their families faced throughout the initial wave of COVID19 and indeed continue to face.
“The situation has been exacerbated for these children and families by the failure of the Education Authority to provide the level of essential support that they require.
“This is unacceptable given that the Education Authority had seven months to prepare and put in place support for some of our most vulnerable children and from listening to the evidence today, it would suggest that this hasn’t happened.
“I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Education Committee to hold the Education Authority to account on these failings and I will be following this up directly with the Minister.”