Ulster Unionist Education Spokesperson, Danny Kinahan, has described the Education Minister’s reported new concessions aimed at securing Voluntary Grammar sector support for the new Education and Skills Authority (ESA) as a smokescreen, not a game-changer and has called for the fine detail of any proposals to be made public immediately.
Mr Kinahan said:
“The flaws with ESA and the Education bill which is currently before the Assembly go a lot deeper than the right of Voluntary Grammar schools to retain their employing authority status, as has been reported.
Speculation about this being some kind of “game-changer” proposal is nothing more than a smokescreen and a rather desperate attempt on the part of the Sinn Fein Education Minister to try to slip through a flawed and frankly dangerous piece of legislation.
In the interests of fairness, the Minister needs to end the current speculation and come out and state publicly exactly what he is proposing so that Schools and the communities they serve can see exactly what the implications are for them. Quite simply we need to see the fine detail of these proposals.
One thing is certain. If what has been reported as being proposed by John O’Dowd is to be regarded as a concession of a major nature, then what the Ulster Unionist Party has been calling for is massive change.”