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Mullan welcomes panel to examine educational underachievement and social disadvantage

28 July, 2020 - by Karen Mullan

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Karen Mullan MLA has welcomed the announcement by the Education Minister that an expert panel will be established to examine links between educational underachievement and social disadvantage. 


Speaking the Foyle MLA said: 


“In the New Decade, New Approach document, there was a commitment to establish an expert panel to examine the links between educational underachievement and social disadvantage for children and young people regardless of background.. 


“It is crucial that this panel goes beyond words, and outlines real and palpable actions that can be taken by the Minister to effectively address this issue. 


“The panel must also face up to the clear correlation between transfer test results and social background. Countless studies into transfer tests have found that pupils from working class families are unfairly disadvantaged with limited access to additional support and resources. This early disadvantage must not be allowed to define the future of young people.


“It would be remiss of both the panel and the Minister to commit to addressing social disadvantage, while taking no steps eradicate the transfer test system. 


“I want to wish all members of the panel the best of luck in their efforts to address this important issue.


“It is the firm view of Sinn Féin that all children in society deserve a fair opportunity and access to first class education regardless of their social and economic background.” 

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