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DUP need to stand-up and be counted in fight against poverty - Hazzard

12 February, 2014 - by Chris Hazzard


Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Chris Hazzard MLA has called on DUP committee members to urgently set-aside narrow political agendas and work in the best interests of all our young people.

Mr Hazzard was speaking after this morning's committee meeting where DUP members clashed with department officials regarding the proposed changes to the Common Funding Scheme (CFS).

Mr Hazzard said: 

"In line with Programme for Government commitments, Minister O'Dowd has set out progressive reforms aimed at how local schools are funded so that those pupils from socially deprived backgrounds are afforded the best possible chance of success.

"Furthermore the all-party Public Accounts Committee has also called on Minister O'Dowd to review the existing CFS so that education funds may be directed at those most in need - and all local and international evidence proves this is pupils from socio-economically challenging backgrounds."

Mr Hazzard added:

"Given that the majority party on the Public Accounts Committee is the DUP, surely their party colleagues on the Education Committee share their concerns regarding the urgent need to tackle the damaging effects of poverty on pupils' learning process.

"In recent weeks Minister O'Dowd has confirmed that no school will lose out in this year's budget - subsequently it is now time for all political parties to recognise this represents significant progress and should be widely welcomed."

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