3 Nov 2004

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People today called on all parties involved in the current education funding crisis to remain focussed on the need for children and young people to receive high quality education.

"It is not my role to interfere in financial and management issues that have led to this current dispute between the Department of Education and the five education and library boards," said Mr Williams.

"However, all parties must remain focussed on the need to make sure that Northern Ireland's children and young people receive the highest possible standards of education.

"Efficient financial management is part of every public body's duty and responsibility - but delivery of services is also a key duty and responsibility. While the education and library boards and the Department of Education are engaged in this current debate I urge them to make sure they do not lose sight of the long term issues. Sufficient resources must be made available to provide the education young people rightfully deserve.

"I am also concerned that Special Educational Needs pupils may be affected. Provision in this area is one of the draft priorities NICCY is consulting on at present and it is clear that it is an area that many children, young people and their parents are very worried about. We want to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society are not discriminated against."

Notes for Editors

Details of NICCY's role and function can be found on www.niccy.org

ENDS

Issued by: 
Jonathan Traynor, Media and Public Affairs Officer
Tel: 02890 311616 
Fax: 02890 314545 
Mob/out of hours: 07973 422583 
Email:communications@niccy.org