3 Jun

Education Authority approach to SEN nursery provision unacceptable, says Lyttle

East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has said it is unacceptable the Education Authority has yet to meaningfully consult with families affected by the proposed reduction of special educational needs nursery hours.

The Education Authority proposed in March this year to half the current five-hour daily provision as of September 2016 but further to public pressure the then-Education Minister John O’Dowd requested a review of this decision. It is understood despite this request, the first stage of this review has been completed without public consultation. (more…)

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26 May

Peter Weir sets out key priorities as Education Minister

Education Minister, Peter Weir, said today that his priority will be ensuring all children and young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Speaking during a visit to Bangor Grammar School, the Minister said the new responsibilities of the Department of Education will help support children through all stages of their development. (more…)

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26 Apr

Farry says SDLP credibility on economy now at rock bottom

Alliance’s Stephen Farry has said the SDLP’s credibility on the economy has hit rock bottom, after the party pledged to ring-fence money maintaining a divided teacher system despite calling for more investment in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

The North Down candidate was speaking after SDLP leader Colum Eastwood announced his party would seek specific ring-fenced future funding for St Mary’s University College. Mr Farry said the SDLP could not have it both ways. (more…)

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22 Apr

Kelly: Financial pressures place schools on the cusp of crisis

Education Minister John O’Dowd’s failure to take action to address spiralling financial pressures on education budgets has left many schools on the cusp of crisis according to SDLP Education Spokesperson Dolores Kelly.

Despite the Minister’s claim of a 0.8% reduction to the aggregated schools budget, Mrs Kelly raised the issue of an 8% real terms cut in school budgets over a month ago. The Department of Education has, so far, refused to act. (more…)

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21 Apr

O’Dowd confirms investigation into De La Salle College, Belfast

Education Minister John O’Dowd has confirmed an independent investigation will be carried out regarding the current situation at De La Salle College, Belfast.

As part of the investigation, pupils, parents, staff and their representatives, and all those involved with the governance of the school will have an opportunity to express their views.

Minister O’Dowd said: “Following a recent meeting with the Concerned Parents of De La Salle Group, further information being provided to me earlier this week, and other important issues that have come to light in recent days from official sources, I have decided to take forward an investigation regarding the current situation at the school.

“My priority remains the education of these young people, in particular those due to sit examinations soon. Work continues to be undertaken by the relevant authorities and Associate Principal Imelda Jordan to address the immediate concerns within the school and this investigation will not impede that important work. (more…)

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