15 Apr 2016

Statement from the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma:

“As Commissioner for Children and Young People, the focus of my attention has always been the pupils at De La Salle College, and how the situation was affecting their education as well as their mental health and well-being.

“I have met with the relevant authorities to hear what new measures and plans they are putting in place to address the situation in the short and longer terms.  I also met with parents and some of the boys and young men themselves, to listen to their concerns.

“I welcome the plans which have been put in place and are being implemented.  I have been assured by the relevant authorities that the best interests of the pupils are foremost, and encourage all involved to continue their efforts in working together to establish and maintain a safe and appropriate education environment for them. 

“I shall now write formally to all the relevant authorities and maintain communication with parents and young people as appropriate.  I will continue to maintain a watching brief until such time as I am satisfied that all the pupils of De La Salle College are no longer experiencing any adverse impact on their education and well-being.

"I would hope that ‘the corner has now been turned’ and the young people can continue their education without further disruption.”