Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006
Lord Dearing (Other)
My Lords, I shall intervene very briefly. It is with a sense of dismay that we are being called on to vote on a matter of Northern Ireland. I do not want to.
I want to make one point to the Minister, and you may say that it is not relevant to the order. I know the Government care very much about the disadvantaged and those who do not succeed at school but it has been a scandal of our comprehensive system that year in, year out, and still today, we fail 20 per cent of our young people and they leave school at 16 functionally illiterate and innumerate. It is to our shame. The best thing the Government can do to help the education of Northern Ireland is address that problem. It can only be addressed by resource, and big resource, and it will be the best investment for Northern Ireland the Government could ever make.