Vital voices of families and experts heard on special educational needs, say Armstrong and Lyttle

Alliance Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong has said it is vital the voices of families and experts are heard on the future of special educational needs provision.

Ms Armstrong was speaking after hosting a joint meeting of the All-Party Groups on Learning Disability and Disability, and Children and Young People in the Long Gallery at Stormont to discuss special educational needs alongside colleague Chris Lyttle MLA. It included panel sessions with a range of experts, academics and parents, as well as other MLAs.

“This event was about the children who will be affected by proposed changes to special education provision in Northern Ireland. The current political impasse means there are no Committees to hold Ministers, civil servants and statutory bodies to account, so the All-Party groups will advocate instead,” she said.

“What we clearly heard from attendees was the Education Authority and Department of Education should engage and consult fully with experts and families to give them as large a platform as possible to be heard,” added Mr Lyttle.

“This issue is not about politics. That’s why we need a joined-up approach to get it right. This complex matter is too important not to.”

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