Parents in Northern Ireland - use your voice or lose it!


Parentkind are proud to be working alongside the Education Authority supporting the consultation process on Area Planning for Special Schools, the Draft Framework for Specialist Provision in Mainstream Schools and the Draft Framework for Specialist Provision in Mainstream Schools – Pilot.

Together we will be hosting a number of online parent focus groups and we are in search of as wide a range of experiences as possible to help inform these consultations. We are seeking parents/carers/guardians of children with additional needs who attend a special or mainstream school or Specialist Unit. This is the opportunity to have your say on what the future education provision should look like for children with additional/special needs.

The focus groups will meet online to be given an overview of both consultations by Geri Cameron from the Education Authority, and then the floor will be opened up for discussion and feedback from all the participants.

To book your place, please email Jayne Thompson, Head of Northern Ireland at Parentkind, detailing your preferred session and confirming you have a child with an SEN statement in either a mainstream or special school and what year group.

Session dates and times
  • Friday 4th December 10am – 12pm
  • Monday 7th December 7.30pm – 9.30pm
  • Tuesday 8th December 10am – 12pm

The Draft Framework for Specialist Provision in Mainstream Schools focuses on increasing the number of specialist provisions in mainstream primary and post-primary schools. This framework also contains a proposal to pilot a new process to significantly speed up the establishment of specialist provision in mainstream schools.

More information on this consultation can be found here.

The Draft Special Schools Area Planning Framework advocates a consistent model across all areas of Northern Ireland that would see all special schools provide 3-19 provision in the same school.

For more information on this consultation, click here.

For both consultations, there are versions in full and shorter form of the new proposed frameworks. It would be great if you can take a read of these prior to the meeting and send through any questions you might have, or ask them directly when online.

If you have a child with a statement of special educational needs, it is of huge importance that you take the opportunity to have your say in these consultations. You can respond directly online via the links above, or attend one of the sessions, or both.

It is this simple – Use your Voice or Lose it! Your child needs you to speak up and inform the decision-makers what education provision you feel will best meet their needs, today, tomorrow and in ten years’ time.


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