Gauntlet thrown down by Dawn Purvis on Education deficit

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The gauntlet has been thrown down by Dawn Purvis to Education Minster John O’Dowd and the elected leadership of Unionism. She is challenging both interested parties to grasp the nettle in tackling education of dispossessed young Protestants.

Miss Purvis in a wide ranging interview with me, accuses Unionist politicians of “proposing to represent working class Protestant people” but she adds, “they do not serve their interests well.”






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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.


  1. Stephen Blacker on


    This is a brilliant yet disturbing interview. It is a terrible shame that this issue is getting no better even with all the fine sound-bites from the “Folks on the Hill”

    The working group Ms. Purvis set up to compile her report, “A Call to Action” was wide ranging and involved excellent people who have contact with children inside and outside school. Their findings should be used as the foundations to move forward in a decisive manner to help these “lost” children and society.

    It seems that some of our politicians work with the attitude “What is in it for me?” instead of “How can we improve our society?”

  2. I haven’t read her Task Group Report, and therefore cannot comment on it. She was very critical of John O’Dowd but did not state what exactly she wants him to do.

    As a politician championing the rights of disadvantaged protestant children she should not be defending the very poor results of one school, and claiming that it is because they are required to take a purely academic curriculm. A range of applied subjects are now  available (eg Occupational Studies)

    However she was absolutely right to say to advocate all-ability schools. It is only when all socio-economic groups are educated together that there will be pressure to  improve poor schools.