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Call for Education Minister John O’Dowd to act on ‘crisis’

SDLP education spokesman Conall McDevitt has called on newly-installed minister John O’Dowd to move quickly to solve the long-running political deadlock over the post-primary transfer question.

The South Belfast MLA said the Sinn Fein man was “taking the helm of education at a time of uncertainty and unprecedented crisis”.

Mr McDevitt said he hoped Mr O’Dowd was willing to repair “the serious damage done by his predecessor” Caitriona Ruane, who caused controversy with her efforts to replace the 11-Plus.

“The SDLP are again calling on the minister to join all-party discussions to break the deadlock over post-primary transfer,” he said.

“And over the coming months, thousands of parents will be left with no nursery school place for their children. The minister should now indicate that he will introduce a statutory right to pre-school education for every child.”

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