Sinn Féin will continue to press for education services’ – Mullan

Sinn Féin will continue to pressure Department of Education officials to ensure front line services are protected, the party’s Education spokesperson Karen Mullan has said.image01-copy

The Foyle MLA was speaking after leading a party delegation to meet with senior department officials .

She commented: “While we welcome the u-turn on the school uniform cut and the protection of the SureStart and Youth Services budgets, questions remain over other key services within education.

“However, we remain concerned that the Department still intends to proceed with cuts to the Sports Development Grant. This would impact on GAA and IFA coaching schemes and could affect up to 50 jobs, 400 schools and approximately 40,000 children.

“We are also concerned about proposed cuts to the Extended School Programme, which provides extra support for children from deprived communities.

“Sinn Féin is continuing to press for the reversal of these cuts in order to protect front line services for children.

“We also raised our concerns over delays to the implementation of the Anti-Bullying Legislation approved by the Assembly in April 2016.

“This legislation was introduced by then Minister John O’Dowd in April 2016 to protect children and young people from bullying.

“However, the Department says the law will not go live at the start of the 2017 school year as promised.

“The department has had a full year to provide the guidance and training needed and not to have done so is simply unacceptable and a major let down to the victims of bullying.”