Lyttle asks why school restart funding not available to special schools

Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has asked the Education Minister why school restart funding is not available to special schools.

In a statement to the Assembly, the Education Minister Peter Weir referenced his ‘concern’ for pupils with complex and additional learning needs but the East Belfast MLA has asked why then the Minister’s Engage programme for school restarts does not apply to special schools.

“The Minister launched an £11m fund for school restart in September but has yet to launch anything similar for special schools,” said Mr Lyttle.

“Many families of pupils with complex needs feel abandoned by the Minister, the Department of Education and Education Authority during this pandemic, at a time when they need action, leadership and support.

“Pupils with complex needs and their families already felt let down before this pandemic. That has only increased due to the lack of support. This experience must not be allowed to continue and adequate funding must be given to special educational needs provision and schools.”