Wednesday, March 15, 2006

DUA Say No to Education Reforms

The Democratic Unionist Association (DUA) at Queen's University attracted cross-party support last night for a motion opposing government reforms to the Education system.

In proposing the motion, Philip Allister made reference to Northern Ireland’s exemplary record in exam results when compared to other UK regions, "Comprehensive schooling has failed spectacularly in England and Wales, yet the Government are proposing this system for Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has long out-performed other regions in the United Kingdom and once again last year we produced the best A-Level results. A majority of politicians, teachers and parents want academic selection, yet the Government is continuing with their strategy of demolishing a system which is the best in the UK, and one of the best in the world, whilst ironically making provisions for its introduction in England and Wales."

Edward Hanna, who seconded the motion, accused the government of failing children coming from less affluent backgrounds. "Academic selection is the fairest way to ensure that each child gets the education they need and the best criteria on which to base admissions into grammar schools. The government’s proposals benefit those families who can afford to relocate to closer to the best schools, disadvantaging those from poorer backgrounds." he said.

( Information from a press release by the DUA )


Blogger Barry Magee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/15/2006 3:39 pm  
Blogger Barry Magee said...

The new proposals to get rid of selection are welcomed. Contrary to the SRC motion the education system in the north of Ireland is not exemplar.

It is true that the north has the highest rate of educational success, but it also has the highest failure rate.

Educational attainment here is polarised and we have the highest rate of school leavers with little or no qualifications and less than the government standard of 5 GCSEs .

How can we describe our education system as one of the best, when it lets down so many?

The proposals to end selection are welcomed, however we must ensure that whatever system replaces it proves not to be selection through the back door

3/15/2006 3:56 pm  
Blogger Chris Gaskin said...

attracted cross-party support last night for a motion

Cross-party in the sense that they got UUP support but they did not get Nationalist or Republican support.

3/15/2006 5:20 pm  
Anonymous David Cather said...

Barry it's a myth that our secondary schools fail to serve the less academically gifted. When compared to students of similar abiltiy in the English comprehensive system pupils of secondary schools in Northern Ireland perform better.

Why is this? Because they are taught at a level and speed they can cope with, instead of being expected to learn in the same classrooms as students who are moving at a much faster rate.

Grammar schools far from discriminating against those from poorer households allow them to compete on a level playing field. Why? Because the only criteria for entry is ability. I come from a farm in the back end of Tyrone, yet I'm able to attend a leading University and can expect a chance at exactly the same jobs as the son of a merchant banker. A generation or two ago this would have been completely impossible. When I was young my grandfather couldn't understand why I was still at school and he frequently asked, had I not nearly learned enough from the books yet? 40 years ago Universities were for people who had gone to fee-paying Grammar Schools, free Grammar Schools who decide their admission based upon academic ability are absolutly key to social mobility.

3/15/2006 8:30 pm  
Anonymous David Cather said...

The support of more than one party Chris, how would you define cross-party.

I should also say to "the Sulk" that when I've talked recently about the quality of business before council, motions like this are what I would consider to be good quality business.

3/15/2006 8:32 pm  
Blogger David said...

I cant agree with your views on higher education. I attended a comprehensive school were I got 4 alevels and an a2. Would my grades have been any better at a grammar school? I doubt it.

Were comprehensive schools thrive is not only in the standard of education, but in the range of what is taught. My school offered classes in brick-laying and hair dressing amongst other things not only for those of so called lower abilities but also for those who were more inclined to persue a vocation such as this. The mix allowed students to get both a very good education and to gain knowledge of a trade, this is something I feel Grammar schools can not offer.

3/15/2006 9:34 pm  
Anonymous The Real SPYS mate said...

I think you might find that this motion did obtain cross party support, I noted SDLP, DUP, UUP but needless Sinn Fein/IRA were once again opposed to anything stable in Northern Ireland

3/18/2006 9:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are the SDLP members of Council?

3/18/2006 10:00 pm  
Anonymous Joe Mangel said...

I heard that it was everyone but IRA/Sinn Fein supported the motion, although I also heard Chris Gaskin said he supported the IMC and would vote for that motion, then didn't.

3/19/2006 1:14 am  
Blogger Chris Gaskin said...

although I also heard Chris Gaskin said he supported the IMC and would vote for that motion

Ever heard of sarcasm?

3/19/2006 2:56 am  

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