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(UK) SPED students in Northern Ireland denied services; "23% of school pop" are SPED

Mar 12, 2019, BBC: Commissioner will investigate special needs education https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47539701 The children's commissioner is to investigate the education of children with special educational needs (SEN). Koulla Yiasouma said her office would look into how decisions on the schooling of SEN children were made. She made the comments after a mother told the BBC that her autistic son had not been to school for six months. Ruth McClure said the Education Authority (EA) had not been able to find a suitable place for him. In response, the EA said it was committed to meeting the assessed needs of individual children. The Northern Ireland Audit Office has previously said that children with SEN are not being effectively supported. Nearly 79,000 pupils in Northern Ireland have some form of SEN - almost 23% of the school population. … She said that the school had suspended her son on a number of occasions and also removed him from his normal class. "Obviously his special education needs weren't being met and the school recognised that," Ms McClure said. … Ms McClure said that meeting took place in early 2018 and as a result it was recommended that her son be placed in a specialist school unit for children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). … However Ms McClure said that Micah did not get an alternative school place and subsequently returned to his existing primary school at the start of Primary Seven. She said that he was soon suspended again and has not been back to school since September. …