Education and Skills Authority

Part of Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 10th December 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin 2:45 pm, 10th December 2012

Go raibh maith agat as an cheist, a Chomhalta.  Irish-medium education and integrated education are at the heart of our education system.  They are integral parts of education.  They are no longer standing outside education being referred to on a needs basis.  They are now part of the education system, and the reason for that is that we have a statutory duty, under the law, to ensure that we promote and facilitate Irish-medium education and, indeed, integrated education.  That is not going to change with the ESA Bill.  That statutory duty will also be placed upon ESA, regardless of its membership.  Apart from those set out under the heads of agreement, membership has yet to be finalised in the sense that there are to be four community appointments to the board.  So, there is a statutory duty on my Department and there will be a statutory duty on ESA which, I have no doubt, will continue to copper-fasten Irish-medium education and integrated education as a part of our education system.