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

The panel will produce an action plan and areas for implementation that will need to be supported by the Executive. Without in any way prejudging what is likely to emerge from the panel, I anticipate that the recommendations will cover a range of areas. I suspect that some actions could be brought about very quickly and others will be longer-term. Some changes may require funding, some may simply be done at an administrative level, and some recommendations may require legislative change. It will be a mixed bag. Implementation will ultimately depend on the support that the Executive as a whole can produce. Even with recommendations in May 2021, it is unlikely that we would see many of them in place by September 2021. However, it will give a clear direction of travel to this Executive and, indeed, to future Executives, which hopefully should honour the recommendations. It will at least allow implementation work to begin in this Assembly term, with further action in the following term.