Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

'Protestant' schools are to blame for mess

The real villains in the current education debate are the voluntary grammar schools in the so called 'Protestant' sector who, for their own vested interests and to protect their institutions, are perpetrating the biggest con trick imaginable on parents and children in Northern Ireland.

These wannabe elitists are leading the charge in setting an unnecessary selection agenda which no one has asked for.

They are forcing our children to sit unlawful, unregulated and unnecessary exams to obtain entry to schools, most of which are - ironically - undersubscribed and de facto comprehensive. They continue to insult the teaching profession, our excellent non-selective secondary schools and the children who attend them by perpetrating the lie their schools are the only way working-class children can advance in society. Their arrogance is unbounded.

Voluntary grammar schools are, however, undoubtedly dominant institutions ruled by headmasters and boards of governors who are powerful individuals, and who will go to any lengths to preserve that power and dominance.

These schools are funded by the ordinary Northern Ireland taxpayer, but act totally independently from either education boards or the department of education.

Voluntary grammars continue to treat children and parents with contempt unless they represent the rich business and professional elites.

CONCERNED PARENT

Londonderry

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