Statement by Peter Weir, DUP MLA for Strangford and Education spokesman.
“The circulation of a proposal to remove all lollypop men and women from outside our schools is clearly without merit and unacceptable. While undoubtedly the Education Authority and the Department have to explore every option to live within budget, this idea cannot be regarded as a serious suggestion and it is clear that the members of the Education Authority would reject any attempt to propose it. The safety of our children must be paramount, and there is no need to remove the current process for assessing individual placements of lollypop people provision.
This bizarre suggestion does however highlight two key issues. Firstly, the extent to which education is effectively subsidising other elements of government particularly on road safety and transport and there needs to be a debate about where financial responsibility is borne. Secondly, it further shines a light on the heavy pressures facing education in Northern Ireland, and the need for strategic changes and reform which need commitment on an Executive wide basis, which again highlights the damage being done by a single party putting their narrow interests ahead of proper decision making and the restoration of government.”
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