‘Permanent Secretary must deliver on Curriculum Sports Programme’ – Loughran

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Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

SDLP Councillor Kate Loughran has welcomed news that work is ongoing to explore options for the delivery of a revitalised and refreshed Curriculum Sports Programme for 2019/20.

Speaking to Newry Times, Loughran said, “On hearing the news that a new programme was being discussed I wrote to the Permanent Secretary Derek Baker to seek clarification on what progress if any had been made.



“I was informed that officials met with representatives from the GAA and IFA in early January to explore how best to revitalise and refresh the Curriculum Sports Programme.

“I welcome the fact that the Department is now considering initial proposals received from GAA and IFA, and discussions are on-going as to how they further shape and refine the programme.”

She continued, “What is most frustrating is that there is no guarantee that this will come to fruition. Until the Secretary of State sets a budget for 2019/20, it will not be possible to give a definite assurance on the level of funding that might be available to support a new programme.



“We already know of the extremely challenging financial circumstances the Department of Education is facing, but they should be commended for exploring how to bring about a new programme which meets the needs of schools and pupils.

“I am in no doubt that if there was a functioning Executive that the Curriculum Sports Programme would have survived.

“Such is the widespread support from the public, schools and local Councils, an accountable Minister would have most certainly prioritised and found the funding to keep it alive.



Councillor Loughran added, “It is one of the few issues which unite political parties here. We must continue to make it clear to the Permanent Secretary in the time ahead that the Programme must be restored.”



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