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EastSide Learning

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:15 pm on 23rd January 2017.

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Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 2:15 pm, 23rd January 2017

I thank the Member for his question. I believe that community-based initiatives are one of a number of factors that can help improve educational outcomes for pupils, particularly those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. In my experience, irrespective of what community it is, getting a level of community buy-in is very helpful and significant.

The Every School a Good School policy highlights that a good school is one that is connected to its local community. I have met a number of community representatives and recognise the influence that they can exercise and achieve. I have encouraged the West Belfast Partnership Board and the other partnership boards, including the EastSide Partnership, to assist them to share the model of good practice. I also fund the West Belfast Partnership Board, the Greater Shankill Partnership and, indeed, Sure Start. All those can play an important role in the community in helping to tackle that key problem of educational underachievement.