11 Oct 2007

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, today called on all sides in the classroom assistant’s strike to put the children first and reach an early resolution to the dispute.

Ms Lewsley said that many of the children affected are amongst the most vulnerable in society. 

“The current dispute and industrial action is extremely complex, but the focus must be on the children,” said the Commissioner. “To make sure the voices of the children and young people are heard I have raised my concern with the Minister for Education, Catriona Ruane, who has the responsibility for the delivery of the service. I am now making a public call for an early resolution.”

“Distraught parents have called my office over the past week, and I have total sympathy for them and their children.

“All stakeholders – parents, classroom assistants, trade unions, employers, and the Department of Education – need to refocus their efforts to avoid further cost to the children’s education.

“Many of the children affected by this dispute depend on a routine that supports their education and learning, a routine that has been torn asunder by this dispute.

“As all sides consider their next action I urge them all to put children first and reach a speedy resolution. 

Notes for Editors

  • For further information on the work of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People can be found here on the NICCY web site.