DUP Councillor David Ramsey, has vowed to lobby in the New Year against continued swingeing cuts to the education budget.
In a statement this week Mr Ramsey revealed that he had attended a meeting of Foyle Learning Community on Tuesday, on behalf of Maurice Devenney MLA, to hear what students and school principals had to say.
“The cuts, which equate to seven percent, will have a devastating effect on the future of education. As a former governor of Lisneal College I was able to relate to their struggle and frustration. While serving as a governor education faced cuts of over four percent in the last four years and after many curriculum audits we lost many teachers, while classes have got bigger.
“I, along with my DUP colleagues, will lobby our Stormont ministers and, hopefully, a better deal for education can be realised. It was made clear at the meeting that support is needed and I know how difficult it has already been for Lisneal,” he sad, calling the seven percent cut ‘extreme’ and ‘very worrying’.
At the meeting a delegation of pupils from all 13 post primary schools in Londonderry were present and on their behalf Kate Fahey from Thornhill College and Thomas Chambers from St Columb’s College made an impassioned plea to the politicians to consider the long-term consequences of the proposed cuts and their inevitable impact on the economic growth in the North West region.
They outlined the need for investment in the knowledge economy through skills development and emphasised the detrimental effects on the city and beyond of graduate emigration and the export of our brightest talent.
They compared the impact of the educational cuts to trying to reduce the weight of an aircraft by removing its engine.