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Ruane to take part in Oxford Union debate

29 January, 2015 - by Caitríona Ruane

South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane has said that she is looking forward to taking part in the debate in the Oxford University Union tonight on whether ‘’This house would introduce quotas for Oxbridge state school admissions’’

 Ms. Ruane who is a staunch advocate of equality in all aspects of life said,

 “Education and equality are very close to my heart and I firmly believe that privilege has no place in education.

 “Every child deserves the exact same opportunities in life no matter their social or economic background and one of the reasons Oxford invited me to this debate is due to the fact that as Education Minister I abolished the state sponsoring of the 11 plus and directed large amounts of funding into additional educational needs as well as a new improved curriculum.

 ‘’As Minister John and I brought forward sweeping reforms ensuring that ‘every school is a good school’, early intervention, targeting based on need and underachievement, as well as a literacy and numeracy strategy.’

 ‘’Bringing equality and excellence into education has delivered an increase in the academic achievement for all our children including a 20% increase in children achieving 5 GCSE’s

 ‘’The message I will be bringing to Oxford is that in order to have a first class education system, equality and equal opportunity must be central so that all our children can maximise their potential.

  “The Oxbridge universities (Oxford and Cambridge) have been accused of elitism favouring pupils from private schools and unfairly discriminating against children from state schools and I will be strongly arguing against preferential treatment based upon class.

 “The debate can viewed on the Oxford Union channel via YouTube and I am honoured to be able to bring Sinn Féin’s educational analysis to this forum as previous Oxford Union debates have included the Dali Lama and Malcolm X.” 

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