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Welcome for Education announcements – Sinn Féin

15 December, 2008 - by John O'Dowd

Sinn Féin MLA and education spokesperson John O'Dowd has broadly welcomed announcements made today in relation to assisting the Education sector here in the North. While welcoming much of the news, Mr O'Dowd expressed his and Sinn Féin's disappointment that there was no extra money made available by DFP to cover the pay rise for classroom assistants working in the voluntary and independent sector.

Speaking today Mr O'Dowd said,

"Education Minister Cáitríona Ruane made a bid for those classroom assistants working in the voluntary and independent school sector as these groups weren't included in the recent pay agreement. While accepting that the Department of Education has no direct responsibility in relation to this matter it was felt, in terms of equity, that an attempt should be made to secure extra funding.

"However, there are a number of positives in relation to today's announcement and those are very welcome. £4 million will be going on new building schemes; this will no doubt be of great news to our local construction workers who will benefit as a result of these new projects.

"An extra £2 million for Youth development services is a massive boast to those people working valiantly within that sector and I am sure will be welcomed by those groups carrying out those vital and much needed services for our young people." CRÍOCH

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