Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Education Skills Authority delay will be an expensive mistake

3 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson John O Dowd has said narrow party politics should not stand in the way of the introduction of the Education and Skills Authority (ESA), the most radical and progressive shake up of how education administered in 35 years.

Mr O Dowd said:

"I am increasingly concerned that an artificial blockage is being created to the introduction of the ESA legislation to the Executive and its progress to the Assembly because of narrow party political concerns rather than educational concerns.

"ESA will see the removal of layers of bureaucracy within the education sector, the delivering of much needed finance to frontline education and an emphasis on educational excellence across the diverse sectors that make up our education system.

"Delay will mean that the £20m savings identified will have to be realised in the next financial year, without the removal of bureaucracy and inefficiency due to duplication of administration. That leaves only one place savings can be obtained, they will be taken out of frontline services, ie the classroom.

"The question must be asked from those opposed to bringing ESA forward, are you going to put education ahead of narrow self interest. Or are you going to ensure protection of bureaucracy and inefficiency in public services when across the public sector areas such as health, Councils and the Civil Service are all making radical changes to how they operate in the interest of delivery of 21st century public service." ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin