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Executive Education sub-committee would delay progress on new transfer arrangements

13 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has said that attempts by Unionists to force the setting up of an Executive sub-committee to look at the issue of post primary transfer would only create delay and confusion.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"An Executive sub-committee at this stage would actually delay the much awaited announcement from the Minister as she is bringing her proposals on the new transfer arrangements to the Executive on Thursday.

"The minister has the taken time to engage with all of the different sectors, she has listened to the various views and opinions and she now is now moving forward with proposals to the Executive for discussion. The Assembly also needs to listen to teachers and head teachers, who actually want to get on with educating, and to parents who want the political battle to end and for the new system to come into being.

"Replacing a 60 year old system was always going to take time but we now have a range of initiatives and policies coming forward - on the Entitlement Framework, on Transfer and Targeting resources into the schools that need it most and on area based planning that will transform how education is delivered.

"This is about some unionist politicians wanting to try and retain a system of academic selection that is no longer working; where many Grammar Schools now effectively operate as all-Ability schools. We need to move beyond the political battle and move to engage on all fronts all our children's education." ENDS

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