Educational inequalities – young people’s information

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NICCY Distressed School Boy

Educational Inequalities

Unfortunately, there are a number of inequalities that children and young people face around their education. NICCY believes that all children and young people should have equal access to all elements of education by:

Ending the achievement gap that prevents some pupils, because of their social and financial backgrounds, to reach their full potential;

Removing all barriers that prevent any child’s full access to a child rights compliant education system;

Turning the focus of education away from purely academic success to adequate support that will best develop pupils’ abilities. This includes pastoral support such as counselling if needed; and

Looking at how we fund education in Northern Ireland, and whether the money needed to make sure that all children have access to an effective education, can be found through streamlining the education system.

NICCY believes that there has not been a lot of progress on these issues. There are still a lot of inequalities in the education system in Northern Ireland and too many children and young people are not able to fully enjoy their rights to a good education.

Independent Review of Education

The establishment and delivery of an Independent Review of Education is a key commitment in the New Decade New Approach (NDNA) document, agreed by the main political parties in Northern Ireland in January 2020.  NDNA stated that an independent and external review would be established “with a focus on securing greater efficiency in delivery costs, raising standards, access to the curriculum for all pupils, and the prospects of moving towards a single education system.” 

When the NICCY Youth Panel heard about the Independent Review of Education, they felt strongly that they would like to participate, to have their voices heard. Young people spend so much of their day, their week and their year within the school environment, it felt natural to share their thoughts, opinions and ideas with the Independent Review Panel.

Find out more about the Youth Panel’s Review of Education recommendations here.