They called the urgent meeting to discuss the ‘critical financial pressures’ facing education in Northern Ireland.
The North Down MLA said: “The eight education Chief Executives delivered a strong message this week and I stand with them in supporting their joint asks.
“That our education system is facing a myriad of pressures is not news to anyone. School leaders, teachers, parents, and others in the sector are acutely aware of the difficult financial situation our education system is currently facing, compounded by years of being starved of adequate funding.
“With budget cuts incoming and vital schemes being put at risk by a lack of funding this situation is likely to worsen over the months ahead. It’s totally unacceptable when Northern Ireland is already lagging behind the rest of the UK in terms of spending on pupils, with the educational spend per pupil in Northern Ireland being the lowest of the four UK regions.
“A good education is a fundamental right for all children, and it is therefore essential that the system is properly invested in.
“As well as having consistently highlighted the pressures education is under and argued for funding to be sought, Alliance also firmly believes that children should be taught together in a single, integrated education system that delivers equality of opportunity so that every child can develop their unique abilities, personality and potential.
“With that in mind, it’s clear our education system is in desperate need of transformation. We urgently need to see the consistent and sustained provision of sufficient funding for schools in order to deliver essential services and improve outcomes for our children, as the education Chief Executives have outlined.
“It is clear the education sector is in crisis, and so it is unforgivable that because of the lack of political courage from some parties we do not have an Education Minister in place to take the reins and put the interests of children first.”