Lisnasharragh closure evidence that cost-cutting comes before children

Alliance Party representatives in East Belfast have warned that the closure of a school in a disadvantaged area must not be a sign that the Government will continue to put cost-cutting ahead of the needs of local children.

Reacting to the closure of Lisnasharragh High School, Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long stated: “We have cautioned throughout the week that the Government’s commitment to adopting the Bain Review will mean nothing if the education system is solely run as a cost-cutting exercise.

“The objective of education policy is not to save money for its own sake, but to ensure value for money for children. Lisnasharragh was an example of a school providing such a value-for-money service, particularly to children from a highly disadvantaged area, and so its closure clearly runs contrary to that objective.

“The need for value-for-money in education has long been recognised by our party, but that is not the same as simply closing schools on an apparently ad hoc basis. Before any school is closed, we need to see the strategy behind such a move to ensure that children will be catered for appropriately elsewhere.”

Castlereagh Councillor Michael Long added: “We have campaigned long and hard on behalf of the parents and children at Lisnasharragh, and the decision to close the school does not bode well for other schools in a similar position.”


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