Appointment of an Expert Panel to Examine Links between Persistent Educational Underachievement and Socio-economic Background

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Daniel McCrossan Daniel McCrossan Social Democratic and Labour Party 10:45 am, 28th July 2020

I thank the Minister for his statement. Educational underachievement has been a huge issue here for a long number of years and one of great concern. The issue will clearly have been compounded by the huge interruption to education during COVID-19, and that will add to considerable concern for schools. There is concern, and the Southern Government and the Minister for Education there have taken action to make €370 million available to fund 1,000 teachers, 125 new additional educational psychologists, new buildings, enhanced cleaning regimes, hand-sanitising and personal protective equipment (PPE). Has the Minister considered a similar scheme for here or funding for schools here to ensure minimal disruption to schools, to ensure that we minimise the risk to our children and our staff and to ensure that schools will not have to close again if these actions are taken?