Lyttle calls on Education Authority to explain lack of communication on special educational needs

Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle has called on the Education Authority to explain why it has consistently failed to explain the ongoing process to parents affected by a potential cut in special educational needs (SEN) nursery hours.

Mr Lyttle was speaking as the Authority revealed in a letter to the Education Minister it was taking a further six months to complete its review of the provision of SEN hours, after it initially proposed halving them from the current five hours.

It followed the initial plans only being discovered via a letter to a parent. East Belfast MLA Mr Lyttle, who hosted a number of affected parents at today’s Education Committee meeting, said the Education Authority had shown no respect to them throughout the process.

“Whilst the Education Authority giving additional time for its review is a welcome move, the credibility and integrity of the organisation is in serious question on this issue. It is a matter that involves many families across Northern Ireland, yet there has been a continuous lack of clear communication and engagement from the Authority.

“It was only because parents were at the Committee today that this latest piece of news came to light. The irony is not lost that I invited the parents so they could explain in person they had failed to receive a number of key documents from the Education Authority.

“Next week, I will be presenting a petition from parents to the Assembly, calling on the Education Minister to intervene and either establish an independent review of this entire process of overturn the decision of the Education Authority.”

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