Alan Love, UKIP Assembly Candidate for Newry and Armagh, has criticised the removal of sixth forms from many secondary schools.
Mr Love said “It is disgraceful that excellent schools such as Markethill High School, one of the best performing non-selective schools in Northern Ireland, should be prevented from having a Sixth Form by what amounts to political dogma.
“Having to move to a sixth form elsewhere places an unnecessary disruption on the lives and studies of pupils in schools deprived of sixth forms just as they reach a crucial stage in their education.
“Secondary schools are decapitated without their sixth forms. Pupils in their A-level years provide an important source of rôle models for younger pupils. The undertaking of responsibilities such as prefect duties provides excellent social development for A-level pupils before they move on to the world of work or tertiary education.