Mar 5, 2020, NI Belfast Telegraph: Special education needs pupils badly let down, reveals 'shocking' report https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/special-education-needs-pupils-badly-let-down-reveals-shocking-report-39015472.html The Education Authority (EA) must be subject to an independent review after an internal audit found "unnecessary and undue" delays into its assessment process for special education needs (SEN) pupils. Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle, who is chairperson of the Stormont Education Committee, made the call after a report was presented by the EA yesterday. He said the report "underlines what can only be described as an appalling and distinct lack of managerial oversight and good governance"…. Latest figures show that 250 children are currently waiting more than 50 weeks for assessment. Another 700 are waiting between 26 and 50 weeks to be assessed. It has been revealed that overall there are more than 2,000 children here waiting to be assessed for medical conditions which could affect their education…. "But what is truly shocking is the fact that there are some children out there waiting almost two years for a statement defining the unique support required by a child with special educational needs…. The EA chief executive said work is under way to improve the assessment process, which had already achieved a 36% reduction in number of statements taking longer than 26 weeks to complete.