A WEST Belfast mother faces an anxious wait over the summer with her son who has Special Educational Needs (SEN) and is still without a school place for September.

Anne-Marie Mulholland, from Clonard has expressed her ongoing frustration and disappointment that her son Caolan (10) has been left in limbo. Caolan is currently a pupil at Fleming Fulton and is due to start secondary school in September.

Earlier this year, Education Minister Paul Givan said there were more than 1,000 pupils with SEN who need a school place in September.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Anne-Marie said: "Caolan finishes school at the end of June here but he does not have a place for September.


"He applied for Harberton North but they are at full capacity. I don’t know what the alternative is. It is very upsetting for me as a mother. I am Caolan’s voice and have been for so many years.

"I am going to be sitting all over the summer worrying about what will happen come September. It is meant to be a happy time with being off school and looking forward to the summer.

"The Education Authority need to start discriminating for our special needs children. They need to sort the issues out as soon as possible.

"Every child deserves an education."

A spokesperson for the Education Authority said: “We fully understand that this is an anxious time for the family, and we have been in contact with them to provide an update on the placement process and the next steps.

“Parents/carers awaiting confirmation have been advised that meetings with schools to discuss consultations are taking place across the month of June.  All families will be informed once their child’s place has been finalised, based on their individual needs.

“Ensuring all children with a statement of SEN receive the right support, from the right people, at the right time, in the right place is a critical priority for the EA and we remain committed to keeping all families informed.

“Parents/carers of children who have any questions or concerns can contact their designated SEN Link Officer or the SEN Helpline which is open Monday-Friday from 9am – 5pm on 028 9598 5960.

"Alternatively further information on the statutory assessment process and dates of our face-to-face Drop-In Sessions are available on our website: https://send.eani.org.uk/statutoryassessment/school-placements.”