Northern Ireland news

Education Authority to investigate why vulnerable child was left without a school for six months

Sharon O'Connor, EA chairwoman

THE Education Authority (EA) is to launch an investigation into why a 10-year-old child with special needs was left without a school for six months.

EA chairwoman Sharon O'Connor has said she was "deeply sorry" about how the authority treated the vulnerable boy.

The child's mother Ruth said it was recognised that Micah needed to be in a unit for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

However, he was returned to "the lions' den" of a mainstream setting at the start of P7, which Ruth said caused his challenging behaviour.

"He should not have been there. Had he been in a unit in a calm environment with specialist staff, this would not have happened," she told the BBC's Nolan Show.

Ruth said various SEN statements sent by the EA contained errors, including the wrong name, needs and address.

No place had been found for her son in half a year, causing him to miss most of P7, she said.

The EA today issued an apology and said it would investigate.

NI Commissioner for Children and Young People Koulla Yiasouma said the situation was "unacceptable".

"There are too many children with special educational needs that are not getting their right to education," she said.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Northern Ireland news

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: