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British Government Ministers Reshuffle "the dance of the sugar plum fairy"

6 May, 2006

Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson speaking on U105 last evening on the minister shuffle said that we should not expect one British Direct Rule Education Minister to be any different from another when it comes to educational entitlement. Commenting on the reshuffle he said,   “ The decision to replace one British Direct Rule Minister with another is not a cause for celebration because Angela Smith merely carried on undermining our education system with the same gusto as Barry Gardener her predecessor.2   “I have already sent a letter to the Education Department asking for a meeting with the new Direct Rule Minister because we were scheduled to meet with Angela Smith on Special Needs provision and concerns of the Irish Medium Sector at the absence of investment to ensure the integrity of entitlement for Key Stage 4 children under the Education Order”.     “ The breaking news yesterday was the millions of pounds of disinvestments in special needs services for children in the SEELB area which included a haemorrhaging of teachers, special needs units and class room assistants which will have an adverse impact on a generation of children.”   “It is important that we take the opportunity to elect an Executive on May 15th and appoint our own local accountable Education Minister and in the interim those non elected members of the SEELB should think hard before they implement such life diminishing cuts to services because while they may be well meaning professionals but they are not elected to represent the children or the families who they are denying services to rather they are merely doing the British Government’s dirty work and their ministers come and go”.  

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