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 11:30 am on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 11:30 am, 28th July 2020

I commend the Member. At least, he did not suggest the elimination of the Kulak class as one of the potential solutions to underachievement. There is undoubtedly a link between socio-economic issues, which is highlighted front and centre in the terms of reference and in NDNA. That is one of the areas that will be tackled.

On the specifics of what the exact arrangements for the return to school will be, none of this is particularly new. In any guidance that was issued, particularly around health issues, the position of the Chief Medical Officer, the Department of Health and the Public Health Agency was taken into account. That was directly reflected. Indeed, the advice on what children need to do and do not need to do and what preparations they need to make follow absolutely consistently the position of the Public Health Agency and, indeed, are supported by the Public Health Agency.

I am not a doctor, and I suspect that the honourable Member is not one either, so I would l tend to bow —.