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

Very much so. Education can be a great life changer and life enabler. It is the case that we need education structures that enable the progression for those opportunities to be realised. The Member referred to his grandfather. My grandparents' generation, and even my parents' generation, despite their background, their ability and their intelligence, did not have the same opportunities as my generation. The Member and I are of a similar vintage, and the opportunities that were available for our generation were greater than those offered to preceding generations. Opportunities that are available now are probably greater than they were for our generation.

We have to make sure that that constant opportunity for improvement is there. Education can be a great life changer. There are many things that can intervene in people's lives but education is the one thing that can make a big difference to and change the direction of somebody’s life. I am very cognisant of that.