Parties should make clear their position on parental choice in education

North Down DUP candidate Jennifer Gilmour has called on Alliance and the Ulster Unionist Party to make clear exactly where they stand on parental choice within education.

By Cllr Jennifer Gilmour

Bangor West


She said,

"Thousands of parents and pupils each year choose to sit AQE and GL tests. They value the ability to ensure that children attend a school which is best suited to their needs.

Whilst Alliance have been very clear that they want to abolish grammar schools there are still significant questions about what they would replace them with. Last year Kellie Armstrong suggested that teachers should use data on children whilst in primary school to decide which post-primary school they attended. Does the Alliance Party still support this policy which is strongly opposed by teachers and principals?

Whilst Alliance want to reduce the choice available to parents whether in North Down or many other constituencies, they need to be clear about how they see pupils making the transfer to post-primary education. Given the threat posed to selection it is important that all parties make clear where they stand on this issue.

Just a few months ago the Ulster Unionist Party failed to protect our Controlled and Maintained schools in Northern Ireland from legislation that disadvantages 93% of pupils. The UUP needs to make clear where it now stands and if it will take a similarly damaging stance when parties such as Alliance make another attempt to abolish selection and reduce parental choice in Northern Ireland."

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.