At the end of a recent post, on the Environment Minister reviewing the local government arrangements, I suggested we would probably see similar reviews of other contentious, to some, plans. And today, tucked in at the end of this report on the Education Committee’s discussion on the threatened closures of 14 schools, and Committee Chairman Sammy Wilson’s description of the planned arrangements as “Byzantine”, is this snippet
The education committee is to conduct further inquiries into Professor Bain`s 61 recommendations.
That would be these recommendations.. Hmm.. What odds of “the foundation for a radical new future for Northern Ireland’s education system” actually being put into place?From the report
Committee chairman Sammy Wilson, (DUP, East Antrim), dubbed the new arrangements “Byzantine” and criticised the multi-tiered system of oversight.
“It seems to me to be quite complex, I have to say Byzantine if you want to use the word.
“I am not even clear about the composition of some of these layers,” he said.
The Department of Education permanent secretary Will Haire said the minister Caitriona Ruane (Sinn Fein, South Down), could not come to a snap decision on such a far-reaching proposal.
“This is a long-term process. There will be no quick changes on these issues,” he said.
“All areas will be looked at. You can`t make quick solutions here, it`s highly complex.
“You are seeing in school environments significant shifts (in pupil numbers). Numbers have been going down and I think that is a real challenge for all of us, how do we invest in this process unless we get some stability?”