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 11:00 am on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 11:00 am, 28th July 2020

As I mentioned in relation to that, there is a range of ongoing support, some of which has been there for many years. For example, schools that have levels of social deprivation will get additional funding through extended schools. That remains in place, and there is flexibility in that spend, for example if they want to go beyond the support provided and provide additional support to their pupils for catch-up.

As I indicated, we have moved with some interventions this summer, and, consequently, 50 schools, on a voluntary basis, are doing summer learning schemes, to which we have been able to provide some funding. We felt that it was important that, where schemes were volunteering to do that, they were given support. That is one intervention. Principally, the Engage programme, which is due to start this autumn and run throughout the next academic year, will give support and will have a particular focus on areas with social deprivation, but there will be help across the board to schools so that their pupils can catch up.