Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Education Bill will prove a failure for our children

As a supporter of grammar schools, I wish to express my dismay and opposition to the Education Bill currently before the Assembly.

This Bill, if passed, will erode the education we currently have for our children. I can see no way in which it would benefit any of our schools.

Specifically, I am opposed to the reduction in powers of boards of governors, the control of our schools being surrendered to the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) and the minister, increased bureaucracy and the lack of representation for grammar schools on the ESA board.

I would request of Stormont that, before this Bill is passed into law, they ensure that amendments are put into place to make certain that the power to run all schools resides with the board of governors and that more power and funding would come directly to all schools for the benefit of pupils.

The purpose of education is not merely to fill our children's heads with knowledge; rather it is to fit them for life as adults in a working environment. As with parenting, close relationships are needed to produce secure, mature adults; no remote governance of a school can achieve this.

As we have seen in many areas on the mainland, political ideology does not always produce what is best, or what is needed.

CATHERINE SMITH

Comber, Co Down

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