Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has said that faith schools should be privately funded and that tax payers should only fund one system.
He made his statements whilst addressing a UUP conference on poverty. State funding for Catholic Schools was introduced by UUP prime minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O’Neill, (initially 80% funding but eventually 100%)
What I mean by a single education system is this: the taxpayer funds one system. Yes, there will be parents who choose to go to an independent school, or to set up a faith-based school, and that’s fine — that’s choice. But we’ll pay for one system; we stop funding multiple and divisive systems.
A few gaping holes in his argument. He goes on to talk about his support for Grammar schools which immediately shoots down his `single system`. He doesn`t mention that parents who choose to send their children to a Faith School would then be paying twice for their children`s education. In fact this is already the case with the 7 Free Presbyterian Independent Christian Schools which do not receive any state funding. Surely in such a case, parents are due a tax rebate?
At the same time schools in the Republic seem to be heading for some major changes, with some Catholic schools being handed to the State.
IT Technical Manager for a CCTV company in the UK & Ireland. Christian, Orangeman, Unionist. Webmaster of Ulster-Scots Online. Occasional blogger on Slugger O’ Toole. Eurosceptic. @Kilsally