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(UK) NI: Almost 300 SPED students without school place in Sept; "greater than previous years"

June 26, 2020, BBC: 'Progress expected' on special needs places The Education Minister has said it is "unacceptable" that 285 children with statements of Special Educational Needs have no school place. Peter Weir's comments came after BBC News NI revealed those children did not have a place for September…. 156 of the 285 statemented children without a place are seeking to be admitted to special schools. The others are seeking a place in a mainstream school or a specialist learning unit attached to one. But the Education Authority (EA) has said that there is particular pressure on special school places in areas including Belfast and Newry. 'Enormous level and burden of uncertainty' Mr Lyttle, who also chairs Stormont's education committee, asked the minister what action he was taking to get the children a school place for September…. Mr Weir also said the number of children with statements, and without a place, was much greater than in previous years. In March, an internal audit found multiple failings in the way the EA provided support for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN)…. "Those are the systemic issues which need to be tackled particularly in the short to medium term," he said. …


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