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Special needs a key issue in schools, says QUB boss

An urgent decision needs to be taken for future provision of special education needs in Northern Ireland, an expert in the field has said.

Professor Tony Gallagher, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s University Belfast, was speaking today ahead of the international Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress (ISEC) taking place at Queen’s this week.

Held every five years, the Congress focuses on ensuring that all pupils, regardless of circumstances, can participate fully in education.

In Northern Ireland politicians and educationalists are currently trying to agree on a way forward for special education, after the publication of the Department of Education’s Review of special educational needs.

Prof Gallagher, chair of ISEC 2010, called the issue “a key priority”.

“The Northern Ireland Assembly will have to take key decisions, affecting the lives of thousands of young people, and it is important that these decisions are based on the best possible international evidence.”

For more information on ISEC visit

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