MLA demands that Minister retract letters to schools

Maurice Devenney, Gary Middleton and William Hay
Maurice Devenney, Gary Middleton and William Hay
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DUP MLA Maurice Devenney, has called on the Minister for Education to retract the letter sent to schools lasts week, criticising them for coaching pupils for unregulated tests during core teaching hours.

In a statement this week Maurice Devenney said school principals should have the flexibility to ensure that pupils were reaching the necessary standard without being accused of coaching.

“I believe that these 11 letters, sent out by the Education Minister, are an attack on teachers and parental choice,” Mr Devenney said.

“The primary function of a school is to do the best they can for their students, and with exams looming, that includes getting their pupils ready. I cannot see any problem with it.”

“Principals should have the flexibility within their schools to ensure that pupils are reaching the necessary standard without being accused of coaching. These letters are clearly an attack on that flexibility and an attack on teachers.”

He continued: “It is my belief that there are supposed to have been 11 letters sent out, but it is my belief there are many other schools coaching pupils or carrying out the same or similar practices.”

“As far as I am concerned, it should be viewed as good teaching practice to help pupils prepare for their exams and not seen as a negative action and I think that these letters should be retracted by the Minister for Education,” Mr Devenney said.