John McCallister MLA, independent Unionist for South Down, has claimed that without meaningful reform of the way the Northern Ireland Executive functions, the problems facing schools budgets will persist into the next Assembly Mandate.
In a statement to Down News, Mr McCallister said: “Until we develop an Opposition at Stormont and an Executive bound by collective cabinet responsibility, which has a joint vision for Education, we will continue to have the same problem of no-one taking responsibility and everyone blaming everyone else.[caption id="attachment_52191" align="alignleft" width="300"] South Down Independent Unionist John McCallister is concerned at the impact the Stormont regime has on education and school budgets.[/caption]
“Frankly, the DUP should be embarrassed to have brought forward a motion exclusively blaming the Minister. The fact is the DUP, Sinn Fein -and the entire Executive – has failed to implement any meaningful administrative reforms since 2007.
“The flawed and failed Education and Skills Authority cost £17million. If meaningful reforms had been introduced in 2009 we could have saved Education up to £100million to date. This is money that would go a long way in these fiscally constrained times.
“The Department for Education has ignored two reports aimed at driving efficiencies in the administration of Education.
“Education is lacking a vision and a unified strategy. Policy is sporadic, leaving schools in a very difficult position. But this is a problem the entire Executive should be taking responsibility for, not just Sinn Fein.
“All Executive parties are responsible for the failure of administrative reform, all Executive parties are responsible for the lack of public sector reform across the Executive, and all are now responsible for the hatched job agreed in Stormont House, which will see us mortgage our future and turn the Reinvestment and Reform Initiative into Redundancy and Retirement Initiative.
“The current approach is having a negative impact on the Education of our young people and will continue to do so,” added Mr McCallister.]]>