Tuesday, 6 October 2015
No doubt we need to encourage greater pluralism in patronage within the primary school system.
If one were starting today, one would not structure it this way, with 95% of schools under church patronage. In trying to achieve progress, it is important we do it in a way that moves things forward and is constructive. Unfortunately, the Government's approach, particularly that of the former Minister, Deputy Quinn, at the outset had the opposite effect. The former Minister outlined that he wanted 1,500 primary schools to change patronage. How many schools have changed patronage under the Government's oversight and stewardship? The Minister said she planned to meet church leaders over the coming weeks and months to try to progress the project and bring new life to it. How does the Minister see it happening and what needs to happen to achieve it?