Page last updated at 19:03 GMT, Monday, 15 October 2012 20:03 UK

Education Bill: Second Stage continued

Video for this item of business will appear here.

The Education Bill passed its second reading, on 15 October 2012.

The debate continued after Question Time.

Anna Lo of Alliance said her party had a number of reservations about the bill.

She was particularly critical of the composition of the ESA board, which would include as many as eight political representatives.

Ms Lo also criticised what she saw as the over-representation of the controlled and maintained sectors on the board.

The South Belfast MLA said her party supported the bill's advance to the committee stage.

Conall McDevitt of the SDLP said the bill failed to address the "two-speed" system in Northern Ireland's schools.

He said that according to parents' ability to earn, "their kids will nearly always end up in one class or the other".

Mr McDevitt compared the terms "academic excellence" and "educational excellence".

"That's the elephant in the room of this debate," he said.

The TUV's Jim Allister criticised the bill for allocating "totalitarian power" to the department since it controlled ESA.

He said the result was that the Sinn Fein minister emerged with "far more power" under the terms of the bill.

The motion was carried by 77 votes to 15 and the bill proceeded to the committee stage.


Story Tools


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific