March 3, 2020
Delays in special educational needs assessments unacceptable – Ní Chuilín

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has said delays in assessments for special educational needs among children and young people are unacceptable. 

The North Belfast MLA said: 

“I asked the Minister for Education for a breakdown of the number of children waiting to be statemented as having a special educational need.

“In his response North Belfast and West Belfast had the highest figures with 172 children on waiting lists in North Belfast alone. 

“I then asked for a further breakdown of how long these children were waiting.

“I was shocked that some children are waiting for over 50 weeks for these assessments while 93 are waiting under 26 weeks and 61 are waiting between 26 and 50 weeks. 

“These delays are unacceptable and place a great deal of stress on children and young people as well as their parents and teachers. 

“I will be meeting with the Education Authority on Friday to discuss the impact of these delays and what can be done to address them in order to support our children and young people.”

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