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Sinn Féin welcome NASUWT demand for return of the Assembly

10 March, 2006

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Michael Ferguson has echoed the comments of NASUWT (The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) spokesperson who called on local politicians to get back into the Assembly to address the mess within the education system.

Commenting before start of the NASUWT Conference at a Belfast Hotel Michael Ferguson said,

"I agreed entirely with the NASUWT Conference sentiments that the Assembly needs to be functioning to address the educational needs of our children and young people.

"I have travelled up and down the Six Counties meeting with educationalists and also joining protests against the reduction in services to schools; Indeed, Sinn Fein has a policy that it will not police British government budgets, which are reducing the educational entitlement of our children.

"It is also the case that the absence of any strategic support to manage change has increased the stress of teachers and brought their morale to an all time low when there are so many changes being sought at one time and not least among them a new entitlement framework at Key Stage 4, curriculum changes at Key Stage 2&3 the new Special Needs Order and the RPA not withstanding the fact that there were 364 attacks on teachers last year.

"I would support the NASUWT call for the restoration of the Assembly and in doing so draw particular attention to those marginalized children and young people who are suffering worst from the absence of local accountability, ethnic children, those from the travelling community and those excluded or falling out of the schools system." ENDS

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