Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ferguson - the 11+ will be history by July

20 May, 2006

Sinn Fein’s Education Spokesperson Michael Ferguson met with the Marie Eagle the British Direct Rule Education Minister on Saturday evening at Hillsborough Castle to discuss the progress with the RPA and new Education Reform Order, the latter of which was initiated by Martin Mc Guinness while Education Minister during the Assembly. Michael Ferguson raised grave concerns around the absence of a strategy to address the opportunities presented by Falling Rolls and the failure of the British Government to invest confidence in the recommended changes to education.   Commenting upon the meeting Michael Ferguson said,   “ Sinn Fein’s Martin Mc Guinness and former Education Minister began a process to bring about a system of educational reform that would promote and celebrate all intelligences with a view to increasing the educational opportunities for all children and young people and to deliver a quality of education through equality of access. The main purpose of this meeting was to ensure that the process of change initiated by Martin Mc Guinness would not be delayed”.   “ The British Minister said that she was intent on ensuring that the Educational Reform Order underpinned by the principles of social justice and equality which include the abolition of Academic Selection would be completed by July of this year”.   “We reinforced Sinn Fein’s position of opposition to the current budget cuts and their adverse impact on education and learning and also highlighted our concerns about the squandered opportunities that the British Government were denying our schools by using falling rolls as an excuse to claw back money from schools particularly in areas characterised by multiple deprivation.”     “ We are scheduled to meet again shortly to discuss the Autism Centre of excellence at Middletown another Sinn Fein Assembly initiative which has been dogged by inertia in the absence of a local Assembly and reinforces the need for the election of local accountable ministers.”ENDS

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