MR ROBIN SWANN, the Ulster Unionist Party candidate for North Antrim, has challenged the next Stormont Executive after the 2nd March poll that “it must actively support young people with special education needs”.
Mr Swann, the UUP Chief Whip, said: “A failure of the last Executive which has not received much media attention is the failure of that Executive to support young people with special education needs once they reach the age of 18.
“When I chaired the Employment and Learning Committee, we conducted an extensive inquiry into the needs of young people and their families, specifically in regard to provision of employment opportunities, education opportunities and the support that was available to families.
“The report had all-party support and all the recommendations were adopted by the Assembly, however, in September of last year I asked the new DUP/SF Executive what actions they have taken on the recommendations from our Inquiry into post Educational Special Needs Provision in Education, Employment and Training for those with Learning Disabilities in Northern Ireland, completed by the Committee for Employment and Learning.
“And when the Assembly collapsed in January of this year, nearly a year after the report was finalised, I hadn’t received any reply from any Minister.
“The next Executive must be prepared to step up to the plate and support these young people and their families, who looked to last Executive for hope that their needs and dreams would final be recognised and addressed,” said Mr Swann.