Stormont allows a bill that discriminates against the most popular schools

A letter by David Barbour:

By Letters
Friday, 11th March 2022, 11:36 am
Updated Friday, 11th March 2022, 6:59 pm
Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong celebrates at Stormont after her integrated education bill passes. But the legislation is flawed
Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong celebrates at Stormont after her integrated education bill passes. But the legislation is flawed

As a governor in the Controlled education sector for well over 20 years, I respected others to have the freedom of choice available under statutory arrangements for schooling.

The integrated sector made its choice 40 years ago during which time it now attained a 7% attendance.

There are other sectors in our system but since I think the Alliance Party is mainly focused on the traditional larger sectors such as ie. Controlled 42%, Maintained 37%, I use that context.

Letter to the editor

Parents are free to apply to whatever school they want their offspring to attend.

It is apparent to me they are not applying to integrated in the same numbers as the major sectors but we now have a bill just passed in Stormont allowing discrimination in funding and ethos against the vast majority of our school population.

Part of the unionist spat records UUP saying that they cannot support the abuse of a petition of concern. I do not know the details of that legislative procedure but surely to allow a flawed Alliance Party sponsored bill that discriminates in funding and ethos of the vast majority of pupils attending traditional sectors is unacceptable.

This has been a shoddy process so I would remind our electorate to assert their ownership of our children’s future and remind this Stormont hamfisted embarrassment to democracy who you are.

The forthcoming May ballot box is the next opportunity to speak for your rights as parents and guardians.

David Barbour, (former Ulster Unionist councillor) Coleraine

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