Ulster Unionist MLA and education spokesman Danny Kinahan has responded to reports that the Education Minister is planning to shelve the proposed Education and Skills Authority.
Mr. Kinahan said:
“The whole sorry saga of ESA- the single education authority which the Minister has failed to establish- says all one needs to know about Sinn Fein’s mismanagement of the education portfolio at Stormont. 9 years and £17M of the public’s funds have been wasted. It all comes back to the total inability of successive Sinn Fein Education Ministers to create consensus within the educational sector, due to their ideologically driven agenda.
“We will examine the latest proposal of a single Education and Library Board to replace the current 5 when we see it, but it must not be a rebadged Education and Skills Authority. ESA became a plan for an over bloated bureaucracy- that is not what schools need in Northern Ireland.
“The Ulster Unionist Party wants schools, teachers and pupils to be properly resourced, with money not wasted on too much bureaucracy. The previous incarnation of ESA was not fit for purpose. We want to see a slimmed down administrative body for education in Northern Ireland where all sectors are treated equally with a roadmap to a shared education system. If that sort of model is put forward, then we will not oppose its establishment.”