Nursery provision for children with Special Educational Needs must be protected and delays in the statementing process eradicated, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Karen Mullan MLA has said.
The Foyle MLA was speaking as Sinn Féin made its formal submission to the Education Authority’s Consultation on Special Education Nursery Provision which closes today (Thursday).
Karen Mullan said:
“Sinn Fein welcomes the framework approach being adopted by the EA to the provision of Special Education Needs and believes this approach has the potential to help improve the lives of children with special educational needs.
“However, in our submission we raised a number of concerns and areas where greater clarity is needed.
“In particular, we would have concerns around any proposal to reduce provision hours and our submission makes the case for full time provision which is 4.5 hours based on the individual child’s needs.
“We would also like to see closer collaboration with the Department of Health so that children born with early identifiable disabilities no longer face delays in statements. Also required are assurances that pre-school children will have their statements completed before nursery provision applications are made.
“Our submission has also asked for clarity regarding the new Early Years Practitioners and if these posts are additional or replacing any existing role.
“We look forward to seeing all of these points addressed in the next stage of the consultation.”