Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

EastSide Learning

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

Alert me about debates like this

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

There has been much discussion about that. I welcome some of the improvements that have happened, but a lot more needs to be done to build on it. I produced a paper a short time ago, and we are looking at what we can do to implement that. In tough economic times, I have ensured that the money to fund things like targeting social need has been allocated directly to schools.

We need to take a more imaginative approach. We need to, for instance, focus on how we can imaginatively use the likes of social media. I would like to see a situation in the relatively near future, particularly in encouraging reading, in which we make use of local role models — that has happened at lower levels with the use of sports stars, who have tried to provide a degree of additional aspiration. Also, in the near future, I will be speaking at a conference on the issue of educational underachievement in Bangor that has been organised by a north Down group. That has been in track for a period of time.

It is about building a range of interventions. If a single intervention could sort out a lot of the problems, I think that it would have been done by now.

It is about getting the cocktail of measures that will work in an area and the community buy-in.