MONDAY’S weekly Assembly slanging match was all about the Education Minister ending the funding of preparatory schools this coming September.
The decision was greeted by howls of fury from any given unionist, plus mild grumping from the SDLP and Alliance.
Caitriona Ruane is once again proving herself to be a dab hand at annoying as many middle class people as she can.
But, one can’t but help wonder why the Unionist fury was so delayed. None of the political parties responded to the Department of Education’s public consultation on the issue. Jim Shannon did so, but as an individual MLA, not a party representative.
Seems they missed that consultation in the same way that Caitriona Ruane missed out on consulting the Children’s Commissioner, children, young people, pupils at preps, in fact pretty much a fair swathe of people who might genuinely have something to say on her proposed decision.
In the debate, Minister Ruane was accused of launching an ideological Jihad, which her Rottweiler-in-chief John O’Dowd was quick to dismiss with more verbal brickbats returned across the chamber.
Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening on the education front: academic selection is ending, but it’s not ending; some Roman Catholic schools are amalgamating, but some aren’t; some children know which primary school they will be going to in September and some don’t …
Education in Northern Ireland…where the children are stuck in the middle!