The petition calls on the Education Minister to provide post 16 education provision for young adults with learning difficulties at the school – adding a sixth form centre allows pupils the opportunity to complete their education.
Kellie Armstrong MLA said: “I’m delighted to present this petition today on behalf of the parents and pupils at Killard House School – the next step in securing this much needed provision for the area.
“I’m equally delighted to welcomed Head Girl Erin and Head Boy Joseph, who very much want to go to a school where they will have provision right through to age 19 and I pay tribute to the passion and patient determination all have shown throughout this process.
“At the age of 15 or 16, vulnerable children have no choice but to leave their protected school environment, at far too young an age. The result is some are less likely to flourish and are placed under the unnecessary stress if having to deal with the adult world.
“It’s already been proven that post 16 provision at similar schools is working – with children provided with appropriate classes and courses suited to meet their needs and giving the same opportunities to stay in education as long as their peers who do not have a disability.
“In recent months the Education Authority has alluded to a possible trial, but Killard House has both enough pupils and the space available to make a sixth form centre reality now.
“Since then parents and pupils have become frustrated by the lack of progress and the 1,500 people who have backed the campaign in this petition have made it clear they will continue to lobby the Education Minister until progress on this issue is achieved.”