The proposal to form a single ELB is a fall-back, a sad plan B which exemplifies the disfunctionality of the Stormont Executive. After the Executive failed to reach agreement on the form and structure of ESA, the Minister was forced to find an alternative as part of the government’s commitment to reform of public administration.
The new body will to some extent streamline education provision in that it will reduce the management and governance previously running five education and library boards. But whereas ESA would have included representation from the CCMS, integrated schools and the Irish Medium sector, the ELB will basically manage controlled schools. Add to this an additional body to represent the controlled sector which will include transferors’ representatives (ie drawn from the Protestant churches) and streamlining begins to look very much like copper-fastened segregation. (more…)