AQE, Belfast Newsletter, Ben Lowry, Carla Lockhart MLA, Department of Education, DUP, GL Assessment, Parental Alliance for Choice in Education, Peter Robinson., Peter Weir MLA, Professor Peter Tymms, Stephen Elliott
Peter Robinson this morning signaled his personal willingness to sacrifice the principle of academic selection in order to stay in power. In a statement conveniently timed with Cardinal Brady’s announcement for the future comprehensivisation of Catholic education, the DUP leader has signalled to Sinn Fein and other anti-selection that it is now safe for them to make academic selection and the 11-plus an issue over which they can threaten to bring down the Northern Ireland Executive. Peter Robinson has made the principle of selection negotiable.
“I am determined to ensure that an academic option is available to those from all backgrounds who wish to pursue this path.”
Peter Robinson First Minister
Unfortunately Mr Robinson has not insisted that during the interim period before any introduction of Computer Adaptive Testing, the AQE CEA 11-plus must become the only acceptable exams option not the GL Assessment one day and inferior approach.
Leaving the decision on agreeing a single test to grammar school principals at a meeting in Methodist College this evening is akin to Peter Robinson and the DUP insisting the the Ulster Unionists endorse the Hillsborough Agreement with Sinn Fein.
Peter Robinson must think all unionists are educationally disadvantaged. Otherwise he would have thought through his proposal to allow decisions of the Executive, such as on education, to be taken by any three parties. S(election) at 14 has been once again floated by the educationalists including the DENI’s favourite, Professor Tony Gallagher and all the main churches. Since the Catholic Church have found themselves, once again, unable to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on the sexual abuse of young people by their clerics it must have crossed the minds of those, aware enough to appreciate that they have a virtual monopoly on the education of Catholic children, that there may be a link.
If this is Peter Robinson and the DUP’s idea of getting out of jail free on the academic selection at 11 problem they have little concept of the pending backlash. Be careful what you wish for is the best advice PACE can give their educationally and strategy disadvantaged politicians.
Alliance Party, Caitriona Ruane, Democratic Unionist Party, Department of Education Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Assembly, Northern Ireland Executive, Peter Robinson., SDLP, Ulster Unionist Party
The Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, has proposed a change to the decision making process of the Stormont Executive.
When applied to the blocked decision of the Education Minister to end academic selection the consequences of Robinson’s folly become apparent. Three parties represented in the current Executive, Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist/Conservative are all opposed to academic selection at 11. If Policing and Justice were devolved it would mean the Alliance Party would join the Executive and add their anti-academic selection position to the mix. Mr Robinson’s DUP could loudly claim that the ending of academic selection at 11 was not their fault and that the decision was a positive example of the ending of “party political point-scoring over good government”.
“I am concerned that the failure of the Executive to take certain decisions is taking a toll on the Executive’s credibility with the public.”
Peter Robinson, Northern Ireland First Minister and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.
Mr Robinson’s use of irony is matched only by the Education Minister’s claims to value equality. Both have now adopted the equality of result or outcome model. A Marxist system which typifies the DUP -Sinn Fein coalition. It is little wonder that parents and pupils have fallen victim to the political mismanagement of the mandatory coalition in order to preserve the greedy self-interests of a failed political system.
Since Martin McGuinness claimed on Inside Politics that selection at 14 was the consensus position the BBC were quick to add their seal of approval.
Interestingly they provide no evidence on what they base this “consensus”. For a cabal of “educationalists” and civic society to use a compliant media to misrepresent the parental view is nothing short of bias on the part of the BBC.
It is likely that the Belfast Telegraph will conduct a poll and the replies (probably already in preparation) will be used to suggest that selection at 14 is the answer to the “deregulated” system causing such a headache for those who cannot come up with an agreed legal system for transfer at 11. Kathryn Torney, education correspondent, has already suggested that the DUP should agree a shift away from their St Andrews Agreement position. It remains to see if the DUP are the willing lapdogs of the media.
Perhaps they will grow teeth under Peter “Neville” Robinson and tell Sinn Fein, churches and the “educationalists” that “it’s your mess – you clean it up”