You don't get no education…

ISN’T it ironic that our unaccountable Education Minister used St Patrick’s Day to call for more funding for transport in London, at a time when he was forcing transport cuts upon children travelling to school in Northern Ireland? It’s been an important day for our remote control ministers as Direct Misrule bites into the education budget in a big way. Massive funding cuts have forced local boards to drop ‘less essential’ services – school transport, building maintenance, music lessons, classroom assistants, English language education for children from outside NI, psychiatric assistance and less support for disabled children. Nine councillors who sit on education boards have already resigned, and Massereene College, which was the first school to win Clinton’s President’s Prize, in Antrim is now set to close.

  • fair_deal

    There is a simple and swift answer to these decisions that will harm the education of alland those in greatest need in particular – VOLUNTARY COALITION.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Fair_deal – You mean EXCLUSION!!!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Yeah, like the Dail parties not in government complain about ‘exclusion’… and that includes Sinn Fein.

  • Alan

    My understanding is that this crisis was caused by the Boards’ failure to heed advice that overspending would no longer be tolerated. The Boards’ response was – but these cuts will happen if you don’t bail us out.

    Having spent some time in the company of board finance officers, there was an attitude among some that over-runs were expected and not a matter for concern. Now the Department can be criticised for building up that kind of expectation, but if the Boards failed to react to a clear change in policy, then the Boards are at fault here.

  • fair_deal

    Alan

    I agree that there are issues about the financial management with some of the boards. However, there is also an issue about ‘unfunded mandates’. For example the central government took the decision to change the approach to special needs education. This new approach is much more expensive but central government gave no new resources for its implementation.

    Paddy Canuck

    Nationalists and Unionists would both be in government.

  • DessertSpoon

    When you have a bunch of Politicians who have for 30 odd years concentrated on feathering their own political nests and obsessing about constitutional matters it’s hardly surprising the that the things that matter end up in such a mess.

    I’ve heard a few politicans on TV and radio whining about these cuts and other nasty things the Direct Rule eejits are planning but I can’t believe they think a little bit of posturing (before an election)is a the way to tackle it.

    Direct Rule Ministers know they will not suffer at the polls because of the policies or actions they take here because no-one but the people who live here care or are affected by them.

    I know I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t already know but it really annoys me. At least if it was the Assembly Minster making the decison, lobbying, votes and public opinion would count for something.