Strong support for Option B

Cllr Carla Lockhart Condell, Ald Stephen Moutray MLA, Mervyn Storey'MLA Chair of Education Committee, David Simpson MP and Ald Sydney'Anderson MLA.
Cllr Carla Lockhart Condell, Ald Stephen Moutray MLA, Mervyn Storey'MLA Chair of Education Committee, David Simpson MP and Ald Sydney'Anderson MLA.
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Both the Democratic and Ulster Unionists have re-iterated their position as supporters of the Dickson Plan.

A DUP delegation has met with education chiefs while UUP have outlined the support for Option B after some confusion following party member Arnold Hatch’s support for Option A.

On Friday morning a DUP delegation including Upper Bann MP David Simpson, MLAs Sydney Anderson and Stephen Moutray, Councillor Carla Lockhart and Mervyn Storey, Chairman of the Assembly’s Education Committee, met chairman of the SELB, Mr Plunkett Campbell and Mr Ronnie McVeigh, Vice Chair of the Board’s Advisory Committee.

Mr Moutray said: “We expressed our concerns around the how the board had handled the issue thus far.

“We have submitted a number of questions to the board and look forward to receiving the answers to them. Once we have these we will be requesting another meeting and will continue to make the case for the retention of the Dickson plan.”

Ulster Unionist Councillor Colin McCusker confirmed his party were also backing Option B.

He said: “We have consistently supported Option B and many of us have written to the SELB expressing in the strongest possible terms that Option B is the only way to bolster education in our area.

“We will continue to work with parents, teachers, principals and others to ensure that the Dickson Plan is retained.

“As a parent of two primary school children and having been through the Dickson Plan myself, I believe that it is vital is is retained.

“Arnold Hatch has publicly stated that he supports Option A. Arnold is the Chair of the Clounagh Board of Governors, and is speaking in that role.”

Meanwhile Joe Corrigan, headmaster at Lismore, has launched a staunch defence of comprehensive education. See pages 42 and 43.