Sinn Fein to meet department on Ardnabannon closure
Sinn Féin MLA Emma Rogan will lead a delegation to meet with the Department of Education today to demand that controversial proposals to reconfigure outdoor education provision are reversed. Sinn Féin are particularly concerned about the decision to close Ardnabannon which provides vital services to young people.
Speaking in advance of the meeting Emma Rogan said:
“I share the frustration of staff and service users that we will see statutory facilities close and increasing numbers of children pushed into the voluntary and private sectors. This situation has given rise to genuine fears that in years to come Education officials will have little or no control over such a fundamental part of the learning process.
“Moreover when you consider the huge push towards advancing shared education in recent years, it is madness to close the only statutory facility that is big enough to accommodate multi-school residential projects. The Education Authority should be investing to enhance such a facility, not disposing of it.
“A recurring theme among staff members I have spoken to in recent months is a sense that their views were not adequately taken on board by decision makers; that the huge wealth of experience and knowledge among staff on the ground was ignored in these decisions.
"Sinn Féin have significant concerns about the potential negative impacts of the closure of Ardnabannon on the Section 75 groups particularly young LGBT people. We will be raising our concerns with the Department and demanding that the decision to close Ardnabannon is reversed."