Daniel McCrossan: Minister needs to get a hold of SEN crisis

SDLP Release:

Social Democratic and Labour Party Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan MLA has written to Education Minister Peter Weir urging him to get a grip on the crisis in Special Educational Needs that has led to distressing outcomes for parents and children during lockdown.

The West Tyrone MLA said that the experiences of parents and children must be heard and addressed as an immediate priority.

Daniel McCrossan: Minister needs to get a hold of SEN crisisDaniel McCrossan MLA said:
“Over the past week I have listened to the heartbreaking experiences of parents of children with special educational needs throughout periods of lockdown. I have heard from people in absolute distress who feel like they’ve been abandoned by our education system.

“To put it into context, I’ve spoken to families with children who have put their heads through windows, parents who have had their arms broken. The uncertainty and disruption to the lives of these families has had an incredible impact and may have left an indelible mark on the development of these children.

“They feel like they’ve been deserted. That’s why I am urging the Education Minister to make this an urgent priority. I have asked a number of questions relating to the operation of multidisciplinary panels, the delivery of blended learning to SEN children and the performance of the Department of Education throughout this crisis. The despair of the parents and principals I’ve spoken to tells its own story.

“With a difficult and uncertain winter ahead, these families and these schools need assurances about what will happen to them. I will be on their side and I’m demanding answers from the Minister urgently.”