“to protect the Policing Board’s integrity…”

In the absence of any further explanation from Sinn Féin for Caitríona Ruane’s dramatic flouncing off the NI Policing Board selection panel to recruit a new PSNI Deputy Chief Constable on Monday, her party colleague on the Board, Gerry Kelly, MLA, has attempted to defend her actions. “If the process is wrong and particularly if the belief [is] that it is compromised, then there is a duty on that person to raise that and that’s what Caitríona Ruane did and I stand by … Read more

Sinn Féin: “In light of the need for absolute transparency in all public appointments and to protect the Policing Board’s integrity…”

Earlier today the Sinn Féin MLA, and member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Caitríona Ruane, suddenly announced that she was unilaterally withdrawing from the panel to recruit a new PSNI Deputy Chief Constable – claiming that she “[believed] that the process may have been compromised”.  Here’s the statement from Sinn Féin Sinn Féin MLA and Policing Board member Caitríona Ruane has withdrawn from the panel to recruit a new PSNI deputy chief constable and called for a fresh recruitment process. The Policing Board member said; “I … Read more

“all schools in the Catholic sector should move to an alternative form of transfer as soon as possible and by no later than 2012…”

Six years in the writing, the Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education (NICCE) has published its Post-Primary Review Strategic Regional Report. It’s a mixture of proposals of limited school closures, amalgamations… and wishful thinking. As the BBC reports, Catholic Church representatives have been focusing on one issue in particular. Cardinal Brady was speaking at St Mary’s College in Belfast when he criticised continuing academic selection by schools. “It is totally unacceptable that some Catholic schools are, in effect, becoming all ability … Read more

DENI appeal “abuse of power” ruling

The BBC report that the Northern Ireland Department of Education, including presumably the NI Education Minister Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane, have lodged an official appeal against the “abuse of power” ruling that followed a judicial review of the minister’s refusal to provide funding for Loreto Grammar School’s planned new-build on its existing site in Omagh. From the BBC report Loreto Grammar School in Omagh was promised new premises by a previous education minister in 2004. However, this decision was reversed by Catriona Ruane. The … Read more

Loreto Grammar School decision “an abuse of power”

As the BBC reports, Belfast High Court has delivered a damning ruling in the judicial review of the Northern Ireland Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane’s decision not to fund a £14.6million new build for, Catholic, Loreto College Loreto Grammar School, Omagh.  [corrected school name] From the BBC report …Justice McCloskey concluded that the conduct, delay and inactivity of the minister and department officials frustrated the legitimate expectation of the governors that a new Loreto Grammar School, financed by public funding, would be built … Read more

Belfast Telegraph interview Catriona Ruane

Catriona Ruane has an interview in the Belfast Telegraph. Unsurprisingly she is completely unrepentant about her time as Education Minister. She says she regards the abolition of the 11 plus as her “proudest achievement” and that she has achieved “about one of the most progressive and radical reforms of education since the Partition of Ireland”. On issue of academic selection she states: “Well, first of all, the old system has gone and one of my proudest achievements is ending the … Read more

“Good news was hard to come by in the Northern Ireland education world of 2010…”

Much like most recent years, you could say…  In a review of the year for the Northern Ireland education system, the BBC’s education correspondent Maggie Taggart notes an interesting fact February saw the delivery of the first results from unregulated transfer tests which had taken the place of the eleven-plus, scrapped by the Department of Education in an attempt to end academic selection. Widespread legal action was expected from dissatisfied parents, but time passed and only two court cases were … Read more

‘no final decision made on Loreto Grammar School’s future…’

The judicial review of the Northern Ireland Education Minister Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane’s refusal to grant funding for, Catholic grammar school, Loreto College‘ GS’s planned £14.6million new build on its existing site got underway today. As reported in September when leave for the review was granted Loreto Grammar was promised £14.6m investment through a public private partnership for a new build on its existing site in 2004 by the then direct-rule minister Barry Gardiner, as part of a major expansion … Read more

“We believe this is a crude attempt to circumvent the proper and long-established channels of financial accountability within education”

The BBC notes the declared intention of the board of governors of  Catholic grammar school Loreto College to end academic selection from 2012 or 2013 – you can check the most recent figures on Loreto’s academically selected intake here.  By the way, how is that review going?  And the BBC report quotes the Catholic Principals’ Association chair Seamus Quinn CPA chair Seamus Quinn said: “Loreto has followed the moral and spiritual guidance provided by the Commission for Catholic Education (NICCE). “Their decision is an important step … Read more

“It is irresponsible to make ill-informed comments about areas which are not your responsibility.”

As DC noted in the comments zone of Brian’s post on our special little pleaders, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson made an interesting pitch during the Conservative Conference fringe event on NI today. With a number of NI Executive ministers present, Owen Paterson argued that the “British taxpayer should not continue to subsidise segregation” in NI, and he highlighted segregated education here as a particular example of “a criminal waste of public money”. Speaking to UTV in Birmingham after the event NI … Read more

“But there is no guarantee that any will be built…”

The Northern Ireland Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane, refused to tell the Assembly the details of the outcome of her department’s review of the schools capital build programme last week.  The BBC reports today that the department has now released the list of the schools whose plans comply fully with departmental policy (34), those who might, with further work, comply with policy (24), and those whose plans do not comply (8). But as the BBC report also notes A total of … Read more