The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Two cases involving autistic children resolved after intervention from Office of the Ombudsman

Tuesday, 13 February 2024, 11:05 Last update: about 18 days ago

The Commissioner for Education within the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman said Tuesday that two cases, both involving autistic children, which were recently brought to his attention have been satisfactorily resolved, at least for the present, by the Department for Education.

One complaint was brought to the Commissioner’s attention on 24 January and was formally communicated to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry responsible for education in terms of Article 18(1) of the Ombudsman Act three days later. The other case was brought to the Commissioner’s attention on 15 January and was being monitored by the Commissioner for Education, in agreement with the parent who filed the complaint, without formal communication under Article 18(1).

Both cases were resolved, at least for the present, last week through the "swift intervention" of the Director General, Educational Resources and the "indefatigable work" of the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability, the office said.

The Commissioner for Education has in the meantime and after consultation with the Ombudsman, as is required by law, initiated an ‘own initiative’ investigation regarding reports on the LSE waiting list and the length of the process of statementing. Meetings with stakeholders have commenced for objectively establishing the facts, the office said.

In the statement, the Commissioner for Education reminded the stakeholders that the right to education is a fundamental human right, that children with learning problems deserve the best education that the State can provide both in line with domestic legislation and international obligations, and that the State has the duty to ensure that educators at all levels are adequately trained and fully competent to meet all the needs of the children entrusted to their care and to facilitate their development.

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