Conservatives Appoint Peel to Help Defeat Labour Education Plans in Northern Ireland
Jeffrey Peel to lobby MPs and Peers to Vote Against Undemocratic Education Order
[UKPRwire, Mon Jan 23 2006] The Conservative Party in Northern Ireland has appointed a local management consultant to help it increase opposition to Labour Government plans to scrap academic selection in Northern Ireland. Jeffrey Peel, a parent with two children at primary school, is opposed to planned legislation that will result in a comprehensive system replacing Northern Ireland's selection based system. Peel was educated at a local Grammar school and at Queen's University, Belfast.
"Northern Ireland has one of the finest systems of education in the world with kids here doing better - across the board - than their peers in the rest of the UK. We also send a much larger percentage of our kids from poorer backgrounds to university. But the Labour government wants to remove excellence and replace it with mediocrity - a comprehensive system in all but name."
The campaign against Labour's plans is supported by Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, David Lidington, MP. "There is no ambiguity about this. The Conservative Party is fully behind the wishes of the vast majority of parents in Northern Ireland who wish to retain a form of academic selection - not the 11+ - and their existing schools' structure."
He continued, "David Cameron reiterated during his recent visit to Northern Ireland that we back existing grammar schools where they enjoy popular support. In Northern Ireland the people have stated democratically - in the household survey and countless opinion polls - what they want and we support them. I can state unequivocally that if Angela Smith brings the current Education Order before parliament in its current form the Conservative Party will vote against it."
Conservatives in Northern Ireland intend to work closely with opponents of the proposed legislation from all benches. They will be stepping up lobbying activities in Belfast and London.