Northern Ireland

Education authority: MLAs drop plans for community representatives

Northern Ireland Assembly debate
Image caption Legislation aimed at replacing the five existing education and library boards with one single body is currently being fast-tracked through the Northern Ireland Assembly

MLAs has dropped plans to have four community representatives on Northern Ireland's new education authority, even though the posts have been advertised.

Legislation to create the new authority is currently being fast-tracked through the Northern Ireland Assembly.

MLAs who wanted representation for four school sectors previously not included on the new body have won a compromise.

The community seats will instead go to the Irish medium, integrated, voluntary grammar and controlled grammar sectors.

An extra post has been created for the Catholic maintained sector, to redress a possible religious imbalance on the new education authority.

However, job adverts had already been placed for a chairperson and four community members to join the new authority.

The community members would have been paid a salary of £8,000, for up to five days work a month.

The education authority is being created to replace Northern Ireland's five existing education and library boards with one, single body.

The aim is to save money by reducing bureaucracy in the education system, and to accommodate planned changes in local government, when Northern Ireland's new super councils begin work next spring.

The new education authority is set to come into being in April 2015.

It will now have 21 members, including eight political representatives.

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