McGrath says urgent investigation required after Special Education Needs whistleblower claims.
In a response to whistleblower claims, South Down MLA Colin McGrath said: “The claims made by a whistleblower this morning are incredible and, if true, are a damning indictment of those responsible for ensuring that children with special educational needs receive the support they need.
SDLP Children and Young People Spokesperson Colin McGrath MLA has said that the Education Authority must begin an urgent and robust investigation into claims that information relating to children with Special Educational Needs was deliberately mismanaged.
“SDLP offices across the North are routinely visited by parents at their wits end because the process for securing support for their children is difficult and they feel like those responsible are deliberately frustrating them. My own experience over the last few months is that the Education Authority has made it more difficult for elected representatives to help constituents and get these young people additional support.
“I have seen children forced to wait their entire primary school life for additional support through an SEN statement. There are systemic failures here that are failing young people and we need to have an honest conversation about how we fix it.
“I will be demanding an urgent meeting with the Education Authority about this matter.”
The Education Authority has now set up a helpline for Special Educational Needs placement issues for the new school term and from Monday 2nd September 2019, the Education Authority will be operating a dedicated helpline for special educational needs placement issues.
The helpline will operate Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm and can be reached at 028 9598 5960.
The Special Educational Team said: “We will work with parents and guardians and schools to achieve a resolution to any placement issues. “