SDLP Raises Concerns Over Education Authority

The SDLP is urging the Education Minister to introduce the recommendations of the Education Authority (EA) review as soon as possible.

SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan made the call after a review was published on Wednesday, with 13 recommendations to address a multitude of problems within the organisation.

Mr McCrossan has repeatedly raised concerns around the Education Authority and its operations and said the review had vindicated his view that the EA was not fit for purpose.

West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said: "While this report into the operations of the EA is damning, it confirms concerns around its operations that we have been raising for a number of years. The EA is not fit for purpose, it does not adequately address the needs of pupils in our schools, has been very slow in adapting to the needs of our modern education system and has failed to carry out the role it was created to do effectively, with confusion existing, even internally, around what exactly that role is.
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"While I accept that some progress has been made in addressing issues over the last few years, the review recognises that this has come from a very low base. Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has acknowledged the failings of the EA, but she needs to back up her words with action and move to implement all 13 recommendations contained within this review.

"To address the long list of issues currently impacting the EA we need to see a proper timescale for action put in place and a costed plan of how the recommendations contained within the review will be implemented. Minister McIlveen must also outline whether work can begin to reform the EA while her party continues their boycott of our institutions.

"Behind this stark review are pupils across the North who are being failed, who are not getting the education they deserve and who are not living up to their full potential as a result of the failings within the EA and our education system. There can be no excuse for not addressing these issues and providing every single pupil with the best education possible."

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