Letters to the Editor, ‘Schools should be assessed fairly and fully’

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Friday, May 17th, 2013
Community, Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor, The response from Education Minister, John O’Dowd to my recent letter misses the point and does not address the core issue which I was highlighting, namely, that the viability audits and subsequent reviews carried out on the primary sector have been based on only two of the six criteria (finance and enrollment) of his Department’s Sustainable Schools Policy. The Minister has not contradicted this point in his response. The outworking of this is that smaller schools have been earmarked for closure regardless of the standard of education they deliver, their standing in their communities, and the other criteria – leadership, management and accessibility. This approach is inherently unfair and causes fear and anxiety in people about the future of education in their communities. The Minister needs to make it clear that schools will be assessed fairly and fully against all six criteria of the Sustainable Schools Policy. Such an approach might bring some fairness to the process which it is sadly lacking at the moment. Yours sincerely, Dominic Bradley MLA SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh
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