25 February 2010
COMMITTEE RETURNS TO THE CLASSROOM
Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Committee have gone back to the classroom to see at first hand the work of teachers and pupils at Longstone Special School. The Committee was invited to discuss the Minister of Education’s policy proposals for Special Education Needs and Inclusion with parents, governors and staff.
Chairperson of the Committee for Education, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “The Department of Education’s proposals for SEN and Inclusion have generated an unprecedented level of concern among those who are most dependent upon our education system.
“Today, we have had the opportunity to see at first hand the contribution which a Special school is making to the education of children with learning difficulties. “The Committee hopes that the Minister’s decision to extend the consultation period on her policy proposals indicates a willingness to respond positively to stakeholders’ concerns.”
The Committee for Education has received an unprecedented level of lobbying regarding the Consultation proposals, leading to a SEN event in Parliament Buildings on 20 January 2010. The event was organised to provide a platform for parents and interested stakeholders to raise their concerns directly with Department of Education officials.
A full copy of the Committee’s response to the Department of Education and a transcript of the Committee’s SEN event and associated papers can be found on the Committee website: http://archive.niassembly.gov.uk/education/2007mandate/educationhome_07.htm
Notes to Editors
The Department of Education’s Policy Proposals Consultation document closed for responses on 31 January 2010. It can be viewed on the Department’s website.The Principal of Longstone School is Mr Trevor Howard.
Mr. Mervyn Storey (Chairperson)
Mr. Dominic Bradley (Deputy Chairperson)
Mrs. Mary Bradley
Mr. Jonathan Craig
Mr. Trevor Lunn
Mr. John McCallister
Mr. Basil McCrea
Miss. Michelle McIlveen
Mr. John O’Dowd
Ms. Michelle O’Neill
Mr. Alastair Ross
The Clerk to the Committee is John Simmons
Committee for Education,
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The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education on a recent visit to Longstone Special School, Dundonald. The Committee was invited by the school to see first hand the work of teachers and pupils and to meet with parents, governors and staff to discuss the Minister of Education's policy for Special Educational Needs and Inclusion
Back Row - L-R- Jonathan Craig MLA, Mervyn Storey MLA (Committee for Education Chairperson), Alastair Ross MLA, Brian McAdams (Chairperson of the Longstone Board of Governors)
Front Row - L-R - Michelle McIlveen MLA, Mary Bradley MLA, Trevor Howard (Principal of Longstone School), Michelle O'Neill MLA, Ruth Murray (Parent and Member of the Longstone School Board of Governors).
John McCallister MLA, Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education meets with students on a recent Committee visit to Longstone Special School, Dundonald
Michelle O'Neill MLA, Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education meets with a student on a recent Committee visit to Longstone School, Dundonald