Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Fein calls on other parties not to support Education cuts

28 February, 2006

Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson Michael Ferguson has said that the party's Belfast Education and Library Board members will not be supporting the Board cuts to Special Needs Services, Patrol Crossings, Teacher Redundancies or any of the proposed budget slashing.

Commenting upon the cuts Michael Ferguson said,

"The proposal by the Belfast Education and Library Board to save money for British Direct Rule Ministers by reducing Special Needs educational provision, risking the health and safety of our children crossing roads and paying off teachers is treachery.

"This is also only the tip of the iceberg because cuts in all of the Boards may result in over 500 more teachers losing their jobs while the condition of school estates will worsen and all because we have no local Assembly.

"We should not undermine our own education system by doing Angela Smith‚s dirty work and Sinn Fein Board members will not be policing this budget for the British Government. We are also calling upon other Political Parties to support us in not enforcing these budget cuts.

"The British Direct Rule Minister is using falling rolls as an excuse when falling rolls should allow us to mainstream the special educational needs of our children, provide better teacher pupil ratio in our class rooms and address the numeracy and literacy difficulties that leaves almost 25% of school leavers without any qualifications every year.

"We need a return to our own local Assembly with our own accountable local ministers if we want a real budget to support education and learning." ENDS

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