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Sinn Féin challenge direct rule minister to come clean on end date of 11+

6 October, 2003

Sinn Féin education Spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has challenged direct rule Education Minster Jane Kennedy to come clean on the end date for the 11+ transfer test after fresh concerns that delays will affect the decision to end the 11+ by 2005.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Jane Kennedy must come clean and tell us if there has been a decision to overturn the decision of Martin McGuinness to end the 11+ transfer test by 2005.

"The equivocation of Jane Kennedy has thrown doubt her ability to deliver an alternative by 2005. This uncertainty is not good for young people ritually forced to sit the 11+ and it is not good for the development of the primary and post primary education sectors.

"It looks as if the working group set up by Jane Kennedy is going nowhere fast and that the timetable for developing the alternative will not be meet.

"While being deeply concerned that Jane Kennedy is attempting a U-turn this also sets a dangerous precedent in terms of direct rule ministers overturning plans and decisions made and developed by locally elected representatives. In that way this situation is not dissimilar to the mess that Des Browne made of the acute hospitals review." ENDS

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