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 11:45 am on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 11:45 am, 28th July 2020

There has been good work done, and I have tried to make things available. I did, for instance, a Zoom call as Parentkind NI had organised some representatives to speak to me, so I think that there will be a level of openness. There are established parent groups that need, probably, to have a level of direct input. However, what can be the best submission will not necessarily come from an organisation but could come from an individual. With regard to the approach that would be made, I would hope that the panel would be open to looking at any evidence that they receive from whatever source. However, it is critical that, as I mentioned, I think, in the statement, while a child is in school, on average, 13% of the time, the rest of the time is outside the school and most of that is in the home. Therefore, we are trying to get holistic solutions that involve the direct school education, home and the support of the wider community. It is critical that we get a symbiosis between those.