13 Feb

Lack of progress on internet safety disappointing – Overend

Ulster Unionist Party Children and Young People’s spokesperson, Sandra Overend MLA, has used Safer Internet Day 2015 to renew her call for the Executive to bring forward an internet safety strategy. The Mid-Ulster MLA has spoken of her disappointment at the lack of progress in this area, given the dangers faced by children and young people online.

Mrs Overend commented: “For more than two years now, I have lobbied the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to bring forward a cross-departmental strategy without delay. Indeed two years ago I led a debate and won Assembly support for a cross-party motion recognising the dangers for children associated with the internet; and calling on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to take the lead on the publication of a cross departmental internet safety strategy to help children enjoy the internet safely. Progress since then has, to say the least, been disappointing. (more…)

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13 Feb

DUP selects Bell for South Belfast

The DUP has selected Jonathan Bell to be the Party’s South Belfast candidate in the General Election.

DUP Leader Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson MLA said, “I’m delighted that Jonathan has been selected and unionists in the constituency have a strong candidate whom they can rally around. He has the experience and skill to be a first class representative for the constituency.

I would have liked a single agreed unionist candidate in South Belfast but that outcome could not be achieved. Such a situation would have moved the seat undoubtedly beyond any nationalist or republican. However with such a crowded field, Jonathan has a really unique opportunity to move this seat into the unionist column at Westminster.” (more…)

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13 Feb

Additional Education funding will alleviate pressures on schools – Hazzard

Speaking in the Assembly today Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Chris Hazard said the sizeable additional allocation of funding to education will alleviate many of the pressures facing teachers and students across the North.

Chris Hazzard said: “In response to a consultation on the Executive’s draft budget and representations from the trade unions, the schools and the community and minister John O’Dowd, education received an extra £64.6m.

“This reflects the Executive and the minister’s commitment to a high-quality education system which delivers excellence and contributes to the success of our economy and society as a whole. (more…)

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13 Feb

Farry responds to Executive decision on teacher training premia

Alliance Employment and Learning Minister, Stephen Farry MLA, has responded to the decision of the Executive to direct the payment of small and specialist institution premia to Stranmillis University College and St. Mary’s University College by highlighting the impact of this decision on other skills initiatives and its inconsistency with other stated Executive priorities.

Stephen Farry stated: “Today’s Executive decision further reinforces the reality that Northern Ireland continues to operate a system of teacher training that is not fit for purpose. It remains financially unviable, it is not keeping pace with world-class standards, and it is not in keeping with the creation of a shared and inclusive future. (more…)

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