Is Brandon Lewis advocating disadvantaging 93% of school pupils?

DUP MLA Diane Dodds has questioned whether Brandon Lewis is advocating the removal of funding and disadvantaging of pupils who attend schools outside the integrated sector.

By Diane Dodds MLA

Upper Bann

View Profile

She was responding to comments from the Secretary of State which said he wanted to launch a campaign of "nudging and cajoling" in relation to the integrated education sector.

The Upper Bann MLA said, "The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want to see our children living, playing and being educated together. Brandon Lewis needs to explain exactly what he means by "nudging and cajoling" in relation to integrated schools. There is already an attempt moving through the Assembly to disadvantage school pupils who are not part of the integrated sector. Is the Secretary of State also advocating that funding be removed and young people disadvantaged all in the name of supposed integration?

The establishment and delivery of an Independent Review of Education is a key commitment in the New Decade New Approach agreement which the Secretary of State should be aware of. That report is charged with considering a vision of how education should be delivered in Northern Ireland in the 21st Century. A detailed and considered report, taken forward by local parties is how we should shape education rather than vague comments from the Secretary of State.

If Brandon Lewis wishes to learn about our schools then he could visit countless examples across Northern Ireland from the Controlled and other sectors he would see children from all faith backgrounds and none being educated together without difference. Stereotyping those schools as somehow perpetuating division does a huge injustice not just to the professionals who work there, but to the parents who send their children there."

Become a Supporter

  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }

We’ll email you about campaigns, events and opportunities to get involved.
Find out more about how we use your information.