Mr Brian Donaldson
43 Bal oo Road
Our Ref: DE/2020-0129
Date: 26 November 2020
Dear Mr Donaldson
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Our Ref: FOI DE/2018-0085
Date: July 2018
I refer to your Freedom of Information request of 30 October 2020 requesting the following
information. “Can you confirm today how much monies from the Covid support has been
provided specifically for the SEN in Northern Ireland? Also the total amount allocated to the
department today’s from Covid monies. Can I also have the number of SEN pupils in
Northern Ireland in primary education and the total amount of children in primary education?”
The Department has now completed its search for the information you requested. The
education budget is distributed in such a way that requires the Department to subsume your
first two questions together for a combined response. That is, there are budget allocations
which the Department makes to the Education Authority which will ultimately address the
needs of both pupils in Special and mainstream schools. In the case of the latter, these
allocations will benefit both pupils on the SEN register and those who are not.
As at the date of this letter the Department has received additional funding of c£106.5m for
COVID-19 response measures and c£97.2m for Education Restart.
The funding secured is to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector and
includes funding towards the cost of substitute teachers, non-teaching staff and other school
expenditure, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), school wellbeing initiatives, home to
school transport, childcare sector support, school holiday food grants, and support for
special educational needs.
As part of the Education Restart funding, c£20.9m has been allocated to date directly to
grant aided schools (other than Special Schools and Hospital Schools), to mitigate additional
costs incurred as a result of COVID-19, beyond teacher substitution costs.
Restart funding for Special schools is being managed centrally by the Education Authority,
in line with current delegations, and to date allocations of £6.9m have been made to the
Education Authority specifically earmarked for Special Educational Needs .
There are further elements of the funding received by the Department, including school
meals, which will be attributable to Special Educational Needs, but these cannot be
The Department received £5m towards the provision of a Restart Wellbeing fund for
educational settings, £125k of which is being allocated to special schools.
In relation to the number of SEN children and total children in Northern Ireland in primary
school education the link below will provide you with the latest numbers and percentages
available for SEN children by school type. The information requested is loc ated at Table 7
on the final page of the document. https://www.education-
If you are unhappy with the level of service you have received in relation to your request,
you may ask for an internal review within two calendar months of the date of this letter. You
may write to the Departmental Information Manager, Rathgael House, 43 Baloo Road,
Rathgill, Bangor BT19 7PR or send an email to: email@example.com
if you wish to
make a complaint.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a review of our original decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.
Ste phe n van Houte n
Stephen Van Houten
Acting Deputy Director of Finance