Alliance Party Education Spokesperson Naomi Long MLA has given her initial response to the Costello report on post-primary education.
Councillor Long stated: “This is a very broad ranging report and contains some very positive and constructive proposals, many of which were first put forward by Alliance in its response to the Burns Report. We particularly welcome the introduction of pupil profiles, the expansion of the curriculum to include a greater mix of academic and vocational options and the proposal that major choices about educational pathways should be taken at 14 years old and not at 11.
“However, what most people want answered is how children transfer from primary school to their first post-primary school and how that intermediate schooling will be structured. The Report provides no answer to this question. Regardless of all the positive changes, it is clear that unless this crucial issue of the transfer mechanism is resolved successfully, the proposals will not be able to deliver a more socially equitable and flexible education system.
“We also have reservations about the length of time resolving this issue might take. If the pace of progress to date is anything to go by, we could well end up in a further prolonged cycle of consultation and indecision on this issue.”