Forsythe Backs DUP Education Plans
Diane Forsythe, the South Down DUP NI Assembly candidate, has issued a statement on education.
Mrs Forsythe said: “We need to invest in a well rounded education system to enable our young people to flourish and realise their full potential.
“As a mother of three primary school aged children this is an issue close to my own heart. The DUP’s Plan for Northern Ireland includes a firm commitment to keeping our schools world-class.
“This includes our commitment to ensuring that a fair funding model for all schools is in place. I believe children should be brought up together in a shared society, but I firmly oppose the Integrated Education Bill because of how it elevates Integrated schools above all others.
“I want to see a full Equality Impact Assessment on this Bill in the Assembly in relation to funding to prevent disadvantages being imposed.
“I am a proud supporter of the Controlled schools sector which provides education open to all children. I am honest, transparent and proud of my position on this issue and send all my children to Controlled Schools.
“Further, I have volunteered my time over the past ten years to Chair a Board of Governors in the Controlled Schools sector, fighting to secure funding and jobs in the school and have advocated the Controlled Schools’ position in many forums over the years, not just when standing for election.
“You can trust me to stand up for our schools and remain principled on this. Can all the other unionist candidates standing demonstrate the same level of past support in the educational sector?
“The DUP are committed to building more new schools in the next five years. This is critical as many local schools are heavily in need of investment. Controlled High Schools in the area have not seen significant investment in over seventy years whilst the local Integrated school is getting a second new build in thirty years.
“This is an inequitable distribution of funds. We also need to address the sustainable schools restrictions which disadvantage our rural schools preventing access to capital funds needed as they are oversubscribed.
“Modernisation of the curriculum for the 21st century workplace is high on our agenda too. Some traditional subjects need to be realigned to the needs of the workplace as well as enhancing vocational education and apprenticeships.
“To help working families with children in education we pledge support to widen access to breakfast and homework clubs and put a cap on school uniform costs.
“We also support a full restructure of special educational needs services as well as ensuring fair access to pre-school places for all children,” said Diane Forsythe.