‘Education needs to be at the heart of next Programme for Government’ – Ruane

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Friday, May 6th, 2016
Politics
Former Education Minister Caitríona Ruane says that the next Stormont Executive must continue to do everything in its power to protect Education budgets. ruane16Speaking to Newry Times, Ruane said, “After seven years of austerity from Westminster, the next Executive must unite behind our pupils, teachers, support staff and schools. “The outgoing Executive had been largely successful in ring-fencing school budgets despite repeated attacks on the Block Grant. It has provided additional pre-school places and  broadened criteria to ensure more pupils are entitled to free school meals and uniform grants. “It has saved the Education Maintenance Allowance, invested £45 million in Irish medium education, invested £233 million in integrated education and invested £1.2 billion in new school builds and upgrading facilities.” She continued, “It is vital that a similar unity of purpose characterises Programme for Government negotiations after the election. We pledge to ensure universities are funded to deliver the skill demanded by the economy. Article continues below: LearnSpark1“Sinn Féin has consistently made the case for increased funding for schools. Following the Assembly Election it will be vital that all political parties put our pupils and schools first. Ruane added, “If we are to continue to rebuild our economy and create unprecedented employment opportunities it is vital we do all in our power to protect the schools, colleges and universites that guide our young people through the important stages of life.”

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