Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Common school funding just a cynical exercise

THE Education Minister, John O'Dowd, is being hugely divisive and targeting schools and pupils for political reasons with his plans for primary school funding.

He shows the type of political mindset which, in other locations or times, was turned to grabbing land from white farmers in Zimbabwe, or persecuting Kulaks after the Russian revolution.

Instead, in this time and place, the Sinn Fein minister is running amok in Northern Ireland's Department of Education, grabbing funds from the schools he does not approve of, and attacking the grammar sector.

Sinn Fein has been in charge of the portfolio since 1999 and the truth is that it has done nothing effective to address underachievement in schools.

The Common Funding Formula is the bluntest of blunt instruments, using free schools meals as the indicator. I'm afraid that it also appears to be a completely cynical exercise.

MARK BROTHERSTON

NI Conservatives Education spokesman

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