Too Young to Fail: Closing the education achievement gap in Northern Ireland

At every stage of schooling, Northern Ireland’s poorest children are likely to do worse and make less progress than their better-off classmates; and the gap is widening. This stark educational achievement gap represents a huge cost to Northern Ireland. It serves to deny many poor children their right to an effective education and the skills to participate in a democratic society. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reports that closing the gap to match the Finnish levels of achievement would be worth £8 trillion to the UK economy over the lifetime of a child born today – gold dust in a struggling economy. Others estimate that success in closing the gap in Northern Ireland would have resulted in increased economic gains of around £400 million in 2013, rising to £1.3 billion by 2030.

Education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalised children can change their lives, lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities.4 The children starting primary school this year have grown up in an economic recession. We cannot let the ‘age of austerity’ define this generation’s educational achievement. Major changes to the education system are required in order to ensure that all children get the start in life they need to shine.

Published 2018-09-10

Document Information

Publication year
2013
Format
pdf, 6p.
Country
United Kingdom

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Document Information

Publication year
2013
Format
pdf, 6p.
Country
United Kingdom