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Sinn Féin criticise Assembly’s Education Committee

31 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Paul Butler MLA has accused the Assembly's Education Committee and its chairperson Sammy Wilson of being more interested in scoring political points over on Caitríona Ruane rather than in discussing children's future educational needs.

Paul Butler was responding to the attitude of members of the committee to Education Minister Caitríona Ruane when she met them to discuss her proposals for changes to academic selection. This meeting was used to launch yet another attack on Caitríona Ruane said Paul Butler.
Their constant attacks and criticisms of Caitríona Ruane are diverting attention away from dealing with the important issue of future transfer arrangements from primary to post primary schools.

Mr Butler said:

"Members of the Education Committee from the DUP and UUP in particular seem to be more interested in putting down the minister rather than genuinely discuss the education of our children.

"The chair of the committee Sammy Wilson has led these attacks on the minister and he has used his position as chair of the education committee to promote DUP views on education.

"Sammy Wilson has used his position as chair of the Assembly's Education committee to undermine and thwart any efforts Caitríona Ruane has made to deal with the issue of academic selection.

"The announcement by the Education Minister Caitríona Ruane last December presented a vision for the future of our children and young people. The 11-plus has given us nothing but academic division and is detrimental to parents, children and teaching in our primary schools. The proposals made by Caitríona are forward thinking, progressive and promote equality of education." ENDS

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