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Any parent who wishes to have a child admitted to the school should first of all contact the school and arrange an appointment to meet the principal Ildiko Veres who will then assess whether the child can be admitted to the school. Any child of school age will be considered for admission. Children of pre-school age will have the opportunity of attending the Mother and Child Group.

However all the children who would be eligible for admission to the school have special education needs are likely to have a statement of special education needs. Their parents may indicate a preference for the Buddy Bear School and if the statement names the Buddy Bear School the Education and Library Board must place the child in the school and pay fees and may also pay a contribution towards traveling expenses. Arranging for a Board to place a child in the school can be quiet a long and complicated procedure so it is recommended that the parents start the process as soon as possible.

minister of education.jpgThe following information is provided to give Parents/ Guardians a general overview of the structure and functions of the Department of Education and the nine non-departmental public bodies, which although operating independently, work closely with the Department of Education and are the ultimate responsibility of the Minister of Education .

You  have a right to express your preference regarding your child's education particularly if your child has special needs. 

The Education and Library Board must take account of your preference before it makes a formal statement detailing the  educational needs of your child .

You are welcome to contact the Buddy Bear Trust for advice and support regarding the admission of your child to the Buddy Bear Trust Conductive Education School which specialises in teaching children with cerebral palsy. The Buddy Bear Trust School is an independent school recognised and inspected by the departement of Education. The Education and Library Boards have paid the fees to enable children to be educated at the school since it openned in 1993. The Education and Library Boards also pays a travel allowance to parents/guardians if necessary.


The Department of Education

The Department of Education is responsible for the central administration of all aspects of education and related services in Northern Ireland - excepting the higher and further education sector, responsibility for which is within the remit of the Department for Employment and Learning.  

The Departments main areas of responsibility are in pre-school, primary, post-primary and special education; the youth service; the promotion of community relations within and between schools; and teacher education and salaries. Its primary statutory duty is to promote the education of the people of Northern Ireland and to ensure the effective implementation of education policy.

Its key functions include:

  • advising ministers on the determination of education policy
  • framing legislation
  • accounting for the effectiveness of the education system
  • allocating, monitoring and accounting for resources
  • through the Education and Training Inspectorate, evaluating and reporting on the quality of teaching and learning and teacher education

The Department also aims to ensure that children, through participation at schools, reach the highest possible standards of educational achievement. In pre-school settings, schools and through the Youth Service the Department also promotes personal well-being and social development, so that children gain the knowledge, skills and experience to reach their full potential as valued individuals.

Structure and Functions

The Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI) is headed by the Minister for Education , Maria Eagle, whose principal advisor is the Permanent Secretary Will Haire. Two Deputy Secretaries and the Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate support the Permanent Secretary. In addition to the Education and Training Inspectorate there are nine heads of division who each deal with a specific area of work, and the Divisions are organised into a number of Branches and Units.  

The structure of the education system in Northern Ireland involves nine non-departmental public bodies, which although operating independently, work closely with the Department of Education and are the ultimate responsibility of the Minister of Education.  These include:

A number of statutory and voluntary groups and organisations work closely with the Department and have an important contribution to make to the administration of education in Northern Ireland.