Trevor Lunn MLA said: “2012 simply must see the swift implementation of an Education and Skills Authority. Agreement on the issue has been brokered at the Executive and now we need see the swift implementation of the organisation.
“Having ESA in place will streamline our education governance and will I hope deliver a more joined-up and strategic approach to decision-making. I also expect ESA to deliver greater sharing and integration in education to help tackle division in education and deliver the most for our scarce resources. The implementation of ESA will deliver large savings in our education system which is very important given the massive pressures on our public finances at present.
“I want however to take this opportunity to press for the creation of a sectoral support body for the integrated sector, as these are being proposed for the Controlled and Maintained sectors so it is crucial that the same opportunity is available for the integrated sector.
“In 2012 there also needs to be political agreement and progress which will see an end to testing at age 11 and a move to a system of informed choice to deliver the best route for each person. We need to ensure that we make the most of the potential that everyone holds and I believe that a move towards a situation involving choice would be very positive.
“A draft Programme for Government has been developed by the Stormont Executive. Many positive initiatives are proposed within it and if we can deliver as substantial a document as this, I believe that political parties can and must also deliver an agreed way forward regarding post-primary transfer.”