Can Northern Ireland Put Education Above Party Politics?

When will party politics be put aside and education policy be secured for the children of Northern Ireland?

Trevor Lunn from the Alliance opened the discussion by describing the current situation in education as deadlocked and confused.

Danny Kennedy from the UUP said he deeply regretted the political impasse on education that had developed in recent years and regretted that it become a political and sectarian issue. He felt that most of the blame lay with the current Minister for Education.

Moving on to the future of grammar schools, Trevor Lunn felt it is better to have a good secondary school than a poor grammar school, while Sinn Fein’s Mickey Brady spoke of an elitist system which the Minister is attempting to remove. Simon Hamilton from the DUP disagreed with the view that the grammar school system was elitist and remarked that the way the Assembly was handling the education issue would not be described as its finest hour. Declan O’Loan blamed the stalemate on a Unionist veto which was secured at St Andrews.

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