By Baroness May Blood, IEF Campaign Chair
Northern Ireland is facing an economic crisis. We can’t afford to waste money and the LucidTalk poll results show that people want to see waste in education tackled urgently. Further, those questioned think communities should have a say in how that is done.
Apparently more than a hundred schools have been closed by education ministers over the past 15 years, yet it seems the public don’t see any real, effective moves to tackle the problem of empty desks and a maintenance backlog – both the legacy of duplication. The education budget has so far been ring-fenced, identified (correctly) as one of our most important public services. Yet this means that the pressure on the Department of Education to spend efficiently and save wisely has therefore been less than that on other departments. This is why critical scrutiny by the public – the users of the service and stakeholders in education – is so important. (more…)