Assembly to discuss DUP motion on mandatory autism training for teachers

DUP release:

DUP MLA Pam Cameron will bring forward a motion to the Northern Ireland Assembly this week calling on the Education Minister Peter Weir to introduce mandatory autism training for teachers in Northern Ireland.

Pam Cameron said:
“Autism has nearly doubled in childhood diagnoses in the past 6 years. Therefore, the lack of support and services has become more and more evident.

Assembly to discuss DUP motion on mandatory autism training for teachersThis is no more evident than in our classrooms. currently 1 in 30 school age children being diagnosed with autism. This could be possibly 1 child in every classroom. For this reason, it should be seen to be common sense that the person that they are spending a large quantity of their day with understands them and is able to educate them and support them in a way that fulfils their needs. For parents, already anxious about the challenges their child faces each and every day, to have the reassurance of fully trained teacher would provide additional comfort and support that their child will be supported in the best way possible because of mandatory training.

I urge the Minister to Act. The public support is widespread. An online petition in September 2019 which was created by the charity Autism NI calling for mandatory autism training, was signed by more than 10,000 people within a few days.

My hope is that this motion is supported by MLAs and acted upon by the Minister and his officials.”