Action needed now to stop ESA failure chaos

Alliance Education Spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has criticised the DUP and Sinn Fein for the looming crisis due to their failure to allow the Education and Skills Authority Bill to come before the Assembly. Education boards are due to be abolished by the establishment of the Education and Skills Authority on 1 January 2010 but the DUP has refused to allow progress due to a wrangle of ownership of the controlled schools’ estate.

Trevor Lunn MLA said: “Have we learned nothing from the transfer chaos? The education administration system is facing meltdown as the DUP and Sinn Fein square up to each other in another unseemly stand-off.

“If ESA is not in place, the boards will be expected to hold the line and, without exception, they have said there will be major problems. CCMS has withdrawn cooperation and who could blame them?

“Are education board members to be asked to continue or are we looking again at wildly expensive commissioners?

“Frankly, I am doubting whether this Executive is fit for purpose. The public are rightly restless as Sinn Fein and the DUP sit in their foxholes and fiddle while Rome burns.

“If the Executive parties get to work on this we can still sort it out on the floor of the Assembly. We can shorten Christmas recess, get to work and justify our existence.

“The Executive meets today – I hope they will act for children and our education system if for nothing else.”


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