“There will be fear, there will be chaos..”

As the Northern Ireland Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, prepares to produce detailed policies guidelines, and with all Catholic grammars reported to be set on ignoring any such guidelines, on the Politics Show today, Michelle Marken, a former head of a Catholic secondary school, on the default deregulation of post-primary transfer ahead. The lesson for today, once again, nature abhors a vacuum..

Jim Fitzpatrick has more here.

After their five-month standoff ended in December, the DUP and Sinn Fein promised to get down to business on all unresolved issues. Martin McGuinness said agreement on education would be a “top priority” for 2009.

“There is a challenge to the DUP and Sinn Fein to find a way forward on education to ensure that all of our children can reach their full potential,” the deputy first minister said.

Well, January isn’t over and already one well-intentioned resolution has bitten the dust.

By allowing the education minister to resubmit her proposals on education to the Executive this week, in the certain knowledge that they would be knocked down, Sinn Fein was signalling the end of any attempt to reach agreement. Let the blame game begin.

Many, in politics and outside it have blamed the minister. Regardless of the arguments for or against academic selection, there is widespread criticism of her handling of the issue.