Education Minister, Caitriona Ruane, has displayed her preference for leaders of the Local Planning Groups responsible for future schooling arrangements.

One appointment, Margaret Martin, former principal of St Catherine’s College in Armagh has a history of difficulties with facts.

The most glaring example was when Mrs Martin appeared before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee presenting her case for the introduction of comprehensive  schools.

It seems that she had great difficulty with the faith and ethnic background figures for the pupils under her pastoral care. Mrs Martin went along with the Northern Ireland  Committee chair Sir Patrick Cormack’s idea that 10% of those attending her Irish/English school were Protestants. Despite being afforded multiple opportunities to correct herself she insisted that she was correct until evidence was produced that revealed the truth.

The Belfast Telegraph published a nember of letters on the subject.

RECENT events have revealed the lengths to which the Northern Ireland Office and its fellow travellers on Costello are willing to go to deceive parents.

Their current attitude is not to answer constructive criticism but to treat the proposals as a done deal to which no response is now required………….

It must concern parents living in the area where Ms Martin now decides the future of  their children’s education provision that she has difficulty with the truth.

Does her appointment surprise anyone involved in the Minister’s education chaos? Hardly so – but will it give confidence about the future of grammar school provision ? Not a chance. One must wonder which other appointtees have similar credentials.

All of the Minister’s latest group are advocates of comprehensive education including the representative from the grammar sector.