19 May 2009

Commissioner urges action on review of special educational needs and inclusion

NORTHERN Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, welcomed today’s special educational needs debate in the Assembly.

Ms Lewsley said the Review of Special Educational Needs and Inclusion was an essential development in providing appropriate support to children and young people who require help in their education.

“I hope that today’s Assembly debate will serve to remind all involved that while the discussions and arguments are batted back and forth children and young people are waiting for the support that this policy is designed to provide,” said the Commissioner.

“Whatever the outcome of today’s debate I hope that the consultation on this review can begin as quickly as possible.”

Ms Lewsley said that the right to education is not an abstract idea in the classroom; it must be a reality for each and every child in Northern Ireland.


“I passionately believe that early intervention for children can mean that the appropriate services can be put in place quickly to support the child’s educational needs.

“I am not taking sides in this political debate – the only side I am on is the side of the children.

“I urge all concerned to remember that children are at the heart of this issue, and any delays will have an impact on pupils’ educational opportunities.”

ENDS

MEDIA ENQUIRIES For more information please contact Andrew McGall, Communication Officer at NICCY on 028 9031 1616 or   communications@niccy.org