Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Education what steps she plans to take to increase the level of provision of special educational needs nursery places in Mid Ulster.
Minister of Education: The Department aims to provide a funded pre-school place for every child in their immediate pre-school year whose parents want it. The Education Authority’s (EA) Pre-School Education Group (PEG) is responsible for securing sufficient provision in local areas to achieve this aim.
Where a child has a statement of special educational needs (SEN) their admission to an education setting is dealt with via a separate process. The placement of children for whom the EA maintains a statement of (SEN) is arranged through the Statutory Assessment and Review Service (SARS). The SEN placements process is managed to ensure each child receives a suitable placement that will appropriately support and cater to their individual needs. This is managed on a case by case basis.
Securing appropriate provision for children with statements of SEN remains a key priority for me and is being taken forward by the EA supported by the Department and key partners, to ensure children are placed appropriately and in line with their needs.