(UK) Northern Ireland: Schools at 'rock bottom'; special needs kids 'not getting services they need'

Dec 5, 2018, BBC News: Northern Ireland schools relying on charities, MPs hear Northern Ireland schools are relying on charities to deliver essential services for children with mental health problems, a committee of MPs has heard. Heather Murray, from Millington Primary in Portadown, County Armagh, also said that schools were at "rock bottom". Independent MP Lady Hermon said that education in Northern Ireland was in a "shameful situation”. The Department of Education has told BBC News NI how it has spent £36m received under the confidence-and-supply deal between the DUP and the Conservatives…. Ms Murray was one of a number of witnesses giving evidence to the committee in Westminster on Wednesday. "We look to charities in the local community to come in and work with children with challenging circumstances at home [or] mental health issues," she said…. "We're having to make decisions based on the cost of education, rather than what we truly believe is the value of education. "We're at rock bottom, there's stress in our schools." … Representatives from the Controlled Schools Support Council (CSSC), Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), NI Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) and Governing Bodies Association (GBA) - which represents 50 voluntary grammar schools - were before the committee on Wednesday. … Tony McCusker, from the CCMS, said that the most vulnerable children were being affected by schools having less money. "Children at risk are not getting the services that they need and children with special educational needs are not getting the services that they need," he said….