Lunn berates Ruane on 11-plus comments

Alliance Education Spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has hit out at remarks made by Caitríona Ruane to a conference of post-primary principals at Ballygally Castle Hotel. He also expressed annoyance that a fortnight after he announced proposals calling for the temporary maintenance of academic selection, no constructive moves have been made by any other party to stop the chaos on post-primary transfer.

The Lagan Valley MLA stated: “What the Minister said at the Conference of Post-Primary principals is extremely counter-productive. She’s effectively saying that she is not prepared to find a consensus amongst all parties and will proceed with her unregulated chaotic plans.

“Sinn Fein are not taking into account of the fears of parents. In some ways the DUP have also let local people down, because they would not engage positively with the Minister to address this matter.

“Alliance put proposals on the table a fortnight ago, yet none of the other parties have come up with anything constructive in the meantime.

“The other parties would rather fight between themselves than come up with a consensus way forward to solve this problem. We have taken the initiative with our proposal. We now need to see other parties being pragmatic too.

“Alliance would rather academic selection was not part of our education system. A non-selective process at age 14, similar to the Dickson Plan is the best option. However, the short-term maintenance of selection is preferable to the chaotic situation that children and parents are currently facing.

“I am extremely frustrated at the lack of work from the Stormont Executive parties on the issue of resolving this problem. We have been constructive, they now also need to be, or else there will be a crisis within our education system.”


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