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Academic Selection gone – time to move on

6 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Lagan Valley MLA Paul Butler has said that now that the Education Minister has cleared the decks and ended all uncertainty by saying that there will be no more academic selection and next year will be the last 11+ that it is time for unionists in particular to move on and play a full role in delivering the new education system.

Mr Butler said:

"Academic selection has gone. No one should be in any doubt about that.

"The Education Minister has now cleared the way for a genuine debate on moving forward. She has made it clear that a system that fails thousands of children every year is going to change. She has given us the framework and now it is down to all of the stakeholders, the parents, teachers and political representatives to work constructively on delivering the new education system.

"There are many flawed arguments being put forward by supporters of academic selection and by political opponents.

"Unionists and those in favour of academic selection need to mo ve on and take responsibility for developing a new system of education that does not privilege a minority at the expense of those who are gaining least from the education system. Already many Grammar Schools have responded to the reality of falling student numbers. It is time that unionists recognised and moved with the changing times." Deireadh

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