Friday, 1 February 2008
Where's Catriona's plan for Northern Ireland's schools? Did the dog eat it?
It is scarcely believable that Northern Ireland’s alleged Education Minister plans to scrap selection in 2008 but as yet has failed to provide any substantive detail on how she intends to replace the existing system. Not only that, but Catriona Ruane has embarked, like a naughty schoolgirl who has not done her homework, on a course of evasion, deception and avoidance.
Having initially indicated that selection would now take place at age 14, it now appears that the minister does not want selection at any age. She is leaving a trail of confusion and anger in her wake and her only response is to run away from questions and her responsibilities as a supposedly accountable government minister.
Ruane refused to answer questions from the Assembly’s education committee, eventually granted the committee a brief meeting, engaged in a great deal of flannel and time wasting and then ran away pleading a prior engagement. This is the importance accorded by Ruane to the future shape of schooling in Northern Ireland.