‘Respect parents’ choice of primary schools’ – McKevitt

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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
SDLP South Down MLA Karen McKevitt has called for the Department of Education to respect the parents’ choice of primary schools. McKevitt said many parents find it difficult to understand why their children are denied their choice of primary school by Department of Education policy. Speaking to Newry Times she said: “People are coming to me with cases where their local school is willing and able to take their child, but cannot do so because the Department has put a ceiling on their numbers. There must be a better way to do things. As far as local people are concerned these quotas might as well be plucked from the sky. All they can see is a good school, a popular school where perhaps their older children went and their younger children can’t for reasons that are nothing to do with the school itself.” McKevitt added, “Apart from practical considerations such as longer school runs, there are good educational reasons why it would be better for a child to go to the local school it knows and where its family is known. The criteria for ceilings need to be re-examined to take better account of parental choice.”
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