A high quality education system is the cornerstone of a progressive society and plays a vital role in preparing children and young people for the future.
Years of flawed management by successive Ministers has resulted in a fragmented and disjointed education system which fails too many of our young people. While a minority leave school with better qualifications than counterparts elsewhere on these islands, many leave school illiterate and lacking numeracy skills.
An investment in educating children is an investment in our economy and in our ability to compete globally. Equipping our pupils with cutting edge skills will create a sustainable, vibrant economy able to generate modern jobs in the future. Put simply, it means young people can enjoy prosperity and employment throughout their lives.
We recognise the value of faith based education and the initiative of various churches in this regard. The SDLP is committed to parental choice and access for pupils to faith based, integrated, Irish medium and state education. We want to see local schools based within and supported by local communities.