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Officials confirm support for Northern Ireland's special schools


Koulla Yiasouma

Koulla Yiasouma

Koulla Yiasouma

The Department of Education has hit back at claims special schools in Northern Ireland have been abandoned.

The Children's Commissioner, Koulla Yiasouma, said last week that politicians are failing schools, with uncertainty continuing over Covid testing and the vaccination of teachers.

Confirming a testing pilot scheme is underway in five SEN schools, a Department spokesperson said: "The timetable for full rollout has been restructured due to issues in relation to the delivery of the kits which are due to arrive with special schools in the next few days.

"The rollout of wider testing on a phased basis will begin on March 15."

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The Ministers for Health and Education announced a policy to deliver the vaccination to staff on February 1, targeting those supporting children and young people with the most complex additional healthcare needs. "The Education Authority (EA) has been provided with a list of identified children," the spokesperson said.

"EA has written to the special schools that the identified children attend, asking them to identify staff who are regularly involved in support. EA will then liaise with the Public Health Agency who will arrange a booking slot at a vaccination centre for the staff identified."

Belfast Telegraph

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