General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Children failed by system: says MP


Irish News

Educational under achievement is costing the economy an estimated £1 billion a year in lost earnings, the SDLP’s Dr Alasdair McDonnell told the assembly yesterday.

“Huge swaths of our children and young people living in disadvantaged areas are being failed by the political system,” he said.

“When asked what they would like to be when they grow up, boys as young as seven in deprived areas in Belfast are telling me they want to be former paramilitaries because, in their eyes in terms of aspirations, this is the best way to guarantee them material wealth and prominence in their community.

“In their words they’ll have ‘a lot of money and get to drive a big car’.”

He said that figures from the Department of Education show 4,500 of our children leave primary school without adequate literacy and numeracy skills.

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane said tackling underachievement was a top priority and that all parties needed to work together to tackle this.


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